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Peoples Bank SPLASH Program

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Peoples Bank SPLASH Program

Since 2017, Peoples Bank has partnered with the local YMCA and the Kankakee Public School System to sponsor the SPLASH Program. This lifesaving program guarantees that every second grader has the lifesaving ability to swim. Nobody is left behind.  Over 2,000 children have developed an appreciation of the water, improved self-esteem, and learned to save themselves in case of an aquatic emergency. 

Why the SPLASH Program? 

The YMCA and Peoples Bank developed the SPLASH Program to address the leading cause of unintentional deaths of children ages 1-14.  This challenge is increased by the fact that the city of Kankakee is a river town. With the Kankakee Area YMCA being the primary teacher of swimming lessons, they felt it was important to proactively reach a large population of youth who, due to age, may not yet know how to swim. The SPLASH program addresses the 3 major impediments of teaching kids to be “Safe Around Water” (SAW):  transportation, cost, and busy family schedules.  The SPLASH program by Peoples Bank removes those challenges and has worked with almost 2,000 children.

Swim lessons are valuable and here’s why:

-       According to studies, children who participate in formal swimming lessons are 88% less likely to drown than those who don’t. While swim lessons are fun, they mean the difference between life and death. 

-       For kids, swimming lessons build self-confidence. More than just confidence in the ability to swim, learning a new skill like swimming builds confidence in kids that they carry out of the pool and into other environments. 

-       In a group setting like the YMCA swimming lessons, kids develop valuable social skills and learn how to be part of a group, take direction, and interact with peers. These are lessons they take with them long after the swimming lessons are over.

-       -Swimming is a lifelong skill that can, and many times does, lead to regular healthy exercise habits, and opens employment opportunities as a lifeguard or instructor when they become teenagers and young adults. 

How Big is This Problem?

According to 2022 CDC research, every day about ten people die from unintentional drowning. 

-       Drowning is the leading cause of death for children.  In the United States, more children ages 1-4 die from drowning than any other cause of death.  For children ages 5-14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes.

-       Boys are four times more likely to drown than girls.

-       From 2011-2020, there were an average of 4,012 unintentional drowning deaths each year in the United States.

-       An average estimated 8,061 emergency department visits occurred each year from 2011-2020 due to nonfatal drownings.

-       70% of African American children cannot swim.

-       60% of Hispanic/Latino children cannot swim.

-       African American children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers.

-       Chances are high if a child does not learn to swim by age 10, they never will.

-       Kankakee County Coroner reports that there have been 19 drownings (12 male, 8 female, ages 2-85) between 2010-2019.

The SPLASH Program Makes a Huge Impact 

Peoples Bank of Kankakee County is proud to partner with the YMCA and Kankakee Public School System in this indispensable program.  “Of Kankakee County” means we invest in our neighbors, support local, and give back.    The SPLASH Program is another example of our commitment to give back.