70% of African Americans do not know how to swim,* and African-American children drown at 5.5 times the rate of other children.**
To help educate parents and children on the importance of water, pool and swimming safety, Bounce, the first and only over-the-air broadcast television network for African Americans, is joining forces with YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for 2,700 Ys across the country, and Black Kids Swim, the web’s #1 family resource for African-American swimmers, to launch a new multi-faceted Public Service campaign.
Bounce has produced a series of Public Service Announcements featuring Olympic medalist Maritza Correia McClendon, who made history as the first black woman to earn a place on the United States Olympic Swim Team and went on to become the first to earn an Olympic medal (2004 Athens). The PSAs encourage water and pool safety and include direction to information on the YMCA’s “Safety Around Water” program. Bounce will air the spots nationally starting Memorial Day Weekend and is sharing them with affiliates to run them locally on their primary channels. Click here to watch the PSA.
The effort will also be spread via social media with Bounce and Black Kids Swim providing the spots and editorial content promoting the initiative that include links to the YMCA’s “Safety Around Water” program.
“Lack of proper water training and preparation is quietly killing African Americans of all ages. We think it is important to help educate people on water safety, especially as we head into another summer season,” commented Bounce Vice President of Community Outreach Jeff “J.J.” Johnson.
People can stay connected with the initiative by following Bounce’s official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts (@bouncetv) and by visiting BounceTV.com. Black Kids Swim will also share information on their Facebook page and on Twitter (@BlackKidsSwim).
Bounce is the fastest-growing African-American network on television and airs on the broadcast signals of local television stations and corresponding cable carriage. The network is available in more than 94 million homes across the United States and 93% of all African-American television homes, including all the top AA television markets.
*USA Swimming Foundation/University of Memphis
**Center for Disease Control and Prevention