There are more than 40 locations where children and adults can learn to swim for free. Gayle Anderson has the details on a summer program known as “Operation Splash”.
Gayle Anderson was at one of the many pools participating in this summer’s ninth annual Kaiser Permanente’s Operation Splash, a FREE summer program offered with the help of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, that teaches children and adults in low-income areas to swim.
This year’s program honors Special Olympics and the upcoming 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games hosted by Los Angeles. Kaiser Permanente will proudly serve as a Founding Champion and Total Health Partner for the World Summer Games, which is expected to bring more than a half million people to the greater Los Angeles area. For more information about the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, visit www.LA2015.org.
Since 2006, Kaiser Permanente’s financial commitment to Operation Splash, funded as a Community Benefit program, has grown to more than $4 million.
Kaiser Permanente Southern California has provided a grant to the Department of Recreation and Parks Aquatic Division, to underwrite swim lessons for 6,000 low-income children, teens, and adults at 35 participating pools in Los Angeles. In addition, this grant helps fund junior lifeguard training at 48 participating pools; and extend the summer pool season at seven city pools, serving 10,000 patrons.
In addition to making aquatics accessible to everyone, Operation Splash promotes physical activity, which is key in obesity prevention. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, in 2011 more than 60 percent of children ages 6 to 17 did not exercise at least one hour daily.
In addition, a Los Angeles County survey revealed that nearly 1 in every 4 adults had high blood pressure.
OPERATION SPLASH is part of Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) efforts to reduce obesity in the community by increasing opportunities for safe physical activity and access to healthy and affordable foods. Kaiser Permanente’s funding will also enable participation in the County of Los Angeles Rethink Your Drink Campaign to increase awareness about sugary beverages and their contribution to the obesity epidemic.
Please visit the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks’ website at www.laparks.org, or call 323-906-7953 for information about participating pools in the area.
About the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks Aquatics Division:
The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks Department, Aquatics Division offers families and community members many healthy, affordable and safe aquatic activities at their public pools, lakes, and beaches. Recreation and Parks oversees 61 swimming pools, 11 lakes, and two beaches. For more information please visit www.laparks.org.
About Kaiser Permanente Southern California:
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care
as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, its mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities it serves.Kaiser Permanente currently serves more than 3.6 million members in Southern California. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.
Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks-Aquatics Division
3401 Riverside Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games
July 24th through August 2nd
If you have questions, please feel free to call Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732 or e-mail Gayle at Gayle.Anderson@KTLA.com