City of Brenham receives 35 Life Jackets from AOAP grant program!



With the summer season officially beginning at the Blue Bell Aquatic Center here in Brenham, Texas, we cannot help but realize how thankful we are to AOAP for the Life Jackets Grant that we received. We are really putting to use the ones that we have received. 


In May, we host end of school year parties with the local schools. A few of these parties are 1st grade and under and many of these children cannot swim. The life jackets were a huge relief for not only the parents and teachers but our staff as well, because we knew that the non-swimming children were much safer having them on.  


Since we opened the BBAC to the public over the Memorial Day weekend our staff has handed out on average ten to fifteen of these life jackets every day. While we do talk to the parents about getting the children into swimming lessons, having the life jackets available and free for our patrons while they are here really aids in keeping our facility a safe place for families to come. 


In January we started our Adaptive Aquatics Program. In this program we offer weekly swim lessons to our special need community. The program is included with their membership. We use life jackets to help them work on building up strength in their legs even when they are not able to hold themselves up. It also offers us the ability to help correct kicking patterns and styles to our participants.’ 


With our swimming lessons we also value going over water safely with all our participants. At the end of each lesson, we go over a few of American Red Cross Longfellow’s Whale Tales.  When we get to “Don’t Just Pack It, Wear Your Jacket” all the students get a chance to put a life jacket on and jump in the pool repeatedly. This gives us a chance to not only teach these children at a young age about water safety and life jackets it also allows all the children coming through our program to see how a life jacket really works, Next spring, we will once again offer our Water Safety Program to all the local second graders in Washington and Austin County where we will also go over all of Longfellow’s rules in depth. 

Later this year we will be offering boaters safety with our Annual Kids Gone Fishin’ event where participants will put on life jackets and race their dingy in our competition pool in between fishing in the outside pool. 


The City of Brenham Blue Bell Aquatic Center is beyond grateful for the generosity of AOAP Life Jackets Grant and look forward to finding more ways for these life jackets to benefit our community. 

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Juliene Hefter

Juliene is the Executive Director/CEO of AOAP. She has a background in running and operating diverse aquatic facilities and venues and is a national and international speaker on a variety of topics. She is also an expert witness/consultant.

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