Aquatics Safety Group Provides Program Evaluation for One with the Water
One with the Water was selected by the Aquatics Safety Group and Rachel Griffiths, a Ph.D. candidate at Loma Linda University, to provide a program evaluation of process and impact measures, which are required in order for One with the Water to maintain its current Gold-Level Achievement as a transparent foundation. One with the Water, a non-profit swim school creating miracles in people’s lives by teaching swim lessons for children and adults, including those with special needs, meets the needs of any ethnic or religious group. We are highly sensitive toward our very diverse community. It is our top priority and highest goal to reach as many people as possible who would not otherwise be able to afford swimming lessons and give them the life-skill of swimming. A unique aspect of the swim program is its emphasis on developing and implementing an individualistic swim lessons plan for people of all ages and abilities, including those with disabilities or special needs. Swimming not only the healthiest form of exercise, but also the most affordable and accessible.
Rachel’s first step of the consultation was to hold multiple talks with One with the Water’s Executive Director and Founder, Coach Kenneth Rippetoe. Together we designed a survey to collect feedback from parents of children participants and from adult participants. We addressed impact objectives of skills, quality of life factors, and satisfaction with the program, along with process objectives including registering for the program, cost, and scheduling. Out of a total current membership of over 1100, 33 members chose to complete the survey.
Our Swim Lessons Program Results
More than half of the parents indicated that their reasons for participating in the program were for their child to learn how to be safe around the water and to become comfortable in the water. Twenty-six percent of parents reported that their child had a disability or special needs, which was their reason for participating specifically in this program. This addresses the objective of providing a teaching-style appropriate for people with disabilities or special needs. Impact objectives of improving social well-being, mental health, quality of life, physical health, swimming ability, confidence/self-worth, and leadership were also measured. While not experimental in its design, the survey provided baseline feedback as to how parents of participants and participants feel the program has impacted their lives.
Respondents reported the most significant positive impacts in the following categories:
(# is the % of respondents)
- Quality of Life 55%
- Social Well-Being 47%
- Mental Health 47%
- Physical Health 50%
- Swimming Abilities 85%
- Confidence/Self-Worth 61%
- Leadership Skills 40%
Almost all of the participants indicated slight improvements on the above factors. More than half of the participants had children that were either fearful of the water prior to enrollment in the program or loved the water, but had limited or no swimming skills. Additionally, many participants chose this program specifically for its emphasis on working with people with special needs or disabilities. Some noted that the swim program’s stellar reputation motivated them to select it. Many participants found the swim program to be of value for several safety and health reasons. Additionally, many participants described that their expectations were met or exceeded. Suggestions for improvement fall into three themes: cost, flexibility/scheduling, and structure. Flexibility of coaches and scheduling, i.e., lack of pool space, was another issue that was expressed amongst the participants not expressing complete satisfaction with the program. The third theme of suggestions for improvement was the structure of the lessons. While some participants were happy with their or their children’s progress, others were seeking a more formalized curriculum and orientation.
Through the survey we discovered the program’s many positive results in the area of improving swimming skills and quality of life measures for participants. While a few participants expressed dissatisfaction with the cost, we found that this did not necessarily warrant changes in fees. There were far more positive than negative comments. Continued evaluation is recommended for maintaining quality and effectiveness of the program.
Learn more about the Aquatics Safety Research Group.
The mission of One with the Water is to create miracles in the lives of children and adults, including those with special needs. We aim to do so by teaching swim lessons that empower our clients. We are merely the instruments, the coaches, that bring those miracles out of you.
Please contact us at 323-364-Swim (7946) to find out more about our swim school and to sign up for swim lessons.