Vanderbilt University Medical Center Supports Local Program to Prevent Juvenile Drownings

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Howard's Hope recently received a significant financial donation from Vanderbilt University Medical Center to support the organization's Flying Fish program. Since 2015, the Flying Fish program has provided the funding for Middle Tennessee children to participate in organized swim lessons taught at local aquatic facilities.

According to Howard's Hope founder and president, Steve Reeves, "This gift from Vanderbilt University Medical Center is much appreciated. It's a financial resource that will allow us to reach our goal next year of providing life-saving, and life-changing, swim lessons to 300 economically disadvantaged children."

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children less than 5-years old, and it's the second leading cause of death for children less than 14-years old. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ten people drown every day in the United States. Additionally, research conducted by the Broward County, Florida, Drowning Prevention Task Force, and confirmed by a similar study completed by the University of Memphis, discovered that the majority of young drowning victims are minority children from low-income households. Contributing to the high drowning rate among this demographic is the children's lack of access to safe water and their inability to participate in organized swim lessons due to economic hardships within the family.

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Initially available only in Murfreesboro, the Howard's Hope Flying Fish program is now being offered in Nashville, Clarksville, Shelbyville, Tullahoma, and Chattanooga. Swim lessons are provided year-round. Age limits vary according to aquatic facility guidelines.

For more information on Howard's Hope or to request a Flying Fish application, call (615) 663-0313 or send your request to: info@howardshope.org

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