COACHELLA, Calif. - Operation splash kicked off in Coachella on Saturday morning, offering a free open swim lesson for families.
“Our kids need to know how to swim. It gets really hot here,” said Bambee Rodriguez, a resident of Indio.
Rodriguez has four kids.. She says they’ve been coming to Operation Splash for years. “As low-income parents here in the valley it’s really hard to find swim activities or just activities in general...so it’s been really fun,” she added.
The Desert Healthcare District Foundation donated lifevests and goggles for the event -- teaching kids how to safely stay cool in the summertime.
“It’s not just the pools where there is a safety concern -- we also have a lot of canals,” said Noelle Furon, Public Information Officer, Desert Recreation District.
Desert Recreation District has partners with Kaiser Permanente for eleven years now: “They give us a grant so we can offer swim lessons to children in the coachella valley,” said Furon.
The event promoted not only water safety but also healthy, active living. “They were teaching not just about water safety but about drinking water and using sunscreen,” said Vita Willett, Senior Vice-President, Area Manager, Kaiser Permanente, Riverside County.
The district is encouraging parents to always be prepared: “Make sure if you have pools at home they are fenced. Make sure you have someone dedicated -- if you have a party or event -- make sure there is someone dedicated solely to watching the children," added Furon.
Desert Recreation District says they still have operation splash scholarships available for free swim lessons -- you can apply on their website here.
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