Down syndrome children make a splash thanks to local non-profits

Kids complete survival swim lessons

Valley Down syndrome kids make a splash

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Children ages 18 months to eight years old celebrated at the Portola Community Center Monday night with hugs, cheers and even pint-sized t-shirts.

The occasion?  Completion of a rigorous swimming course that lasted between several weeks and several months.

Nine of the children have Down syndrome, and, alongside typical children, received recognition from their peers and their instructor for their accomplishments.

The Infants Swimming Resource course, taught by instructor David Heil, was geared toward survival swimming, and was paid for through a collaboration between two local charities.

Ezekiel's Gift of Love, a Coachella Valley Down syndrome support group, and Make a Splash for Joel, which aims to provide drowning prevention and water safety education for Coachella Valley families.

For more information on free swimming lessons through Make a Splash for Joel, contact Jackie Valenzuela at

To learn more about ISR swim instruction, contact David Heil at or  818-602-9134

VIDEO: See the progress the kids made in the water as they learned how to swim

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