Photo from Evanston Community Foundation

More kids in Evanston will get their feet wet soon, thanks to the expansion of Evanston Swims!, a program that provides free swimming and water safety lessons to District 65 second-graders.

The program has leveraged a large network of community organizations and volunteers, has attracted the support of donors and has grown from a pilot program serving three schools in two pools to one serving eight schools in four pools.
Evanston Community Foundation has transferred the Evanston Swims! Fund of more than $17,000 to the YWCA Evanston/North Shore to support the program. The Fund has grown over the past 18 months through the generosity of many, including Evanston organizations and local swim teams, and donors honoring the memory of Paul Collins Pate, a competitive swimmer. The program will be managed through a partnership among the YWCA, McGaw YMCA and Evanston/Skokie School District 65.

Sara Schastok, CEO of ECF said, “The time is right for the YWCA and the McGaw YMCA to provide coordinated management of the program for optimal planning and growth.” The program expansion will guarantee that many more Evanston second-
graders will have the opportunity to participate in the Evanston Swims! program.”

“The success of Evanston Swims! is the result of true community partnership,” said Bill Geiger, CEO of the McGaw Y. “Evanston/Skokie School District 65, the YWCA Evanston/North Shore, YMCA, and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, as well as many community volunteers and donors have all come together to support our youth.”