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Bear Paddle Announces Swim Lesson Scholarships for Low-Income Children

Bear Paddle Swim School announced a partnership with Hope Floats Foundation to provide scholarships for swim lessons for low-income children and their families.

In a news release, the swim school, which has a location in Florence, said that the equivalent of thirteen school buses full of children die each year in the U.S. due to drowning, and that swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent.

“There’s a huge need for swim lessons, and the kids that need them the most – lower socio-economic level kids – they’re not getting them,” said Cindy Tonnesen, founder of the
Hope Floats Foundation. “We are saving kids, but there are more we need to reach, and we have the ability and resources to do it.”

Hope Floats Foundation began to pilot the scholarship program in September 2017. With twenty-six partnerships currently secured in 13 states, Hope Floats hopes to serve thousands of children who would not otherwise have access to the life-saving gift of swim lessons.

To learn more about the Hope Floats Foundation and see a listing of swim school partners, please visit

Bear Paddle offers swim lessons year-round.

-Staff report