#JJSwims “Natural History Splashes Into HBCUs” program: Empowering Black Kids to Swim and Dream Big
Historically, the basic activity of swimming has been restrained by bigotry and stereotypes holding on to our understanding of what is possible with an iron grip. But today, initiatives from the Nation’s Capital Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc and their #JJSwims’ “Natural History Splashes Into HBCUs” program are breaking down those barriers and making the once unthinkable and unreachable, attainable – nurturing a fervent hope in the hearts of young Black children that they, too, can make a splash in the pool.
Along with #JJSwims, swim stroke instructors from WeAquatics, one of the only Black-owned, Learn to Swim (LTS) certified programs in the region, the not-for-profit organization Black Kids Swim (BKS) and the Howard University Swim and Dive Team are committed to rewriting the narrative surrounding Black children and aquatics.
Black Kids Swim’s Involvement
Black Kids Swim awakens a sense of belonging in Black children in an environment that often falls short in representation. BKS’ involvement at the #JJSwims’ Natural History Splashes Into HBCUs event is one among many critical steps it takes to dismantle the barriers that stand between Black children and their potential as skilled swimmers.
Isabella Fountain, BKS’ “Swimbassador,” helped crystallize the program by showing budding Black swimmers what they’re capable of achieving. Her engaging talks and presence in the pool made it clear that this was more than just another swimming program—it was an opportunity for young people to see their greater potential.
Without a doubt, BKS is changing the way young Black children relate to the sport of swimming, and even more broadly, how they see themselves as having the potential to be successful competitive swimmers.
BKS is humbled and grateful for the opportunity to participate in the #JJSwims program.
#JJSwims’ Support for Black Kids Swim’s Summer Swim Team Scholarship Program
As part of the program commitment, the Nation’s Capital Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc will be extending its generous support to contribute to BKS’ Summer Swim Team Scholarship Program. This amazing J&J chapter is supporting an annual initiative that strives to instill confidence, discipline, teamwork, and swimming prowess in young Black swimmers.
And the results? An increasing number of Black children exploring the potential that competitive swimming unlocks and demonstrating proficiency that challenges stereotypes head-on.
Collaborating with Learn to Swim (LTS) Organizations
Even though BKS is primarily focussed on competitive swimming, it recognizes the importance of all levels of swimming. Through partnering with Learn to Swim organizations, BKS looks to amplify its message and inspire budding young swimmers to consider swimming as a sport.
The focus of our collaborations? To effect a continual increase in the ‘learning to swim’ to ‘swimming as a sport’ pipeline and to create an unwavering confidence that gets stronger with each stroke. BKS believes that “big dreams start with baby strokes.”
The #JJSwims Natural History Splashes Into HBCUs program is significant in the journey toward inclusive representation in the swimming world. It brings to light the crucial work organizations like Jack & Jill of America, Inc., WeAquatics and BKS are doing as well as representation displayed by the Howard University Swim and Dive Team to highlight the emerging talents in the Black community.
Like to participate? Sponsor a swimmer this summer! Learn more about the BKS Summer Swim Scholarship Program.
Participate, foster, and extend your support in empowering a new generation of Black swimmers to dream AND swim big. Remember, it’s not just about mastering strokes; it’s about making waves – one swimmer at a time.