Grants – Life Jackets & Swim Lessons

The Association of Aquatic Professionals (AOAP) is now taking applications for a new grant program to help aid aquatic facilities in their drowning prevention efforts. The AOAP drowning prevention grant offers funding opportunities for organizations to provide education and awareness of life jacket safety through swim lesson programs.

The Association of Aquatic Professionals is a domestic 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corporation and is run by an all-volunteer Board of Directors and Executive Director and exclusively promotes and advocates policies, practices and procedures that contribute to safer and improved aquatic education, aquatic recreation activities, programs, and facilities.

As part of its drowning prevention education program, the AOAP is working to build and maintain a national network of partners to address issues of life jacket safety and swim lesson education though water safety organizations. Additionally, the AOAP hopes to create local and national educational programs for youth and families. A portion of all proceeds generated by AOAP will be used towards drowning prevention, i.e. for learn-to-swim lessons and grants for life jackets.

The AOAP has allocated $5,000 for the life jacket grant program and $5,000 annually for swim lesson grants. AOAP anticipates that grants awarded by the program will provide a minimum of 100 free lessons to under-privileged children and to purchase and provide a minimum of 200 life jackets for organizations to use in their water safety efforts. ($500 maximum per organization for swim lessons or 32-50 life jackets)

Purpose of the Grant Program
The purpose of the funding awarded by the AOAP is to provide resources to offer learn-to-swim programs to young people who may otherwise not have the opportunity to learn to swim and/or life jackets to include in the learn-to-swim program curriculum and also for use during public swim times.

Goals of the Grant Program:

  1. Provide opportunities for organizations awarded the grant to provide education and awareness of life jacket safety through swim lesson programs.
  2. Provide awarded organizations with life jackets for a designated number of participants awarded by the grant.
  3. Provided financial support to the awarded organizations for swim lesson programs offered to the designated number of participants awarded by the grant.
  4. Provide a minimum of 100 free swimming lessons to children (under the age of 12) from low-income families. ($500 max per organization)
  5. Provide a minimum of 200 life jackets annually to association member aquatic facilities that provide water safety education programs. (anywhere from 15 – 50 life jackets per organization dependent on funds available) – maximum of 32-50 per agency

Requirements to Apply for the Grant

Local municipalities, universities, and water safety organizations that are current members with AOAP may submit a grant application annually.

  1. All grant applicants must be current members of the Association of Aquatic Professionals for at least 1 full year. (so, members for 1 full cycle and registered for a second)
  2. Applicants must submit a completed application explaining how they will utilize the grant program.
  3. Applicants will identify how the lifejackets provided to them will be used in promoting drowning education within their learn to swim programs.
  4. Agencies awarded the grant will not be eligible to receive further grant funding for the following two years.
  5. For Swim Lesson grants: Individuals that will be taking the swim lessons must fill out the swim lesson grant forms Learn to Swim Ind Grant Application. Your community or agency would have them fill out the applications and turn them in to you, you would then upload them to your grant application form. We must have these applications in order to approve swim lesson grants. Grants will be paid out for swim lessons after a report is sent following the completion of the swim session stating that all applicants have attended and participated in the swim lesson session.
  6. Life jackets received must be continually used in a learn to swim program and not given away.

Agencies awarded a grant are expected to sign contracts with the AOAP before funds are disbursed. They will also be required to submit reports, including innovative forms of measurement, throughout the grant cycle. Click HERE to fill out the on-line grant application.

Program Evaluation

Agencies awarded a grant will be required to—

  1. Fill out a post program survey to show how the grant program has aided them in providing drowning education to the public.
  2. Provide quantitative and qualitative feedback to the association in regards to the effectiveness of the grant program.
  3. Provide a written report based on how the funds were used and how many children benefited from the grant.
  4. To submit a final evaluation of the program that will be presented to the AOAP Board of Directors.
    Based on the feedback from the evaluations, the AOAP Board will review and make recommendations for further changes or enhancements to the grant program on an annual basis.

Grant Award Deadlines: (In order to be consider for a grant for the current period applications must be received by the following dates – there are 4 deadlines)

January 1
April 1
July 1
October 1

To Apply for a grant, Click Here