learn / 2016

Pools of Hope provides an after-school Swim & Achieve Homework Assistance Lab for at-risk youth.

Pools of Hope provides an after-school Swim & Achieve Homework Assistance Lab for at-risk youth.

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by California Aquatic Therapy & Wellness Center (DBA Pools of Hope)

Pools of Hope's Swim & Achieve Homework Assistance Lab is an after-school tutoring program that rewards students with swim lessons to promote academic achievement and wellness in a safe environment.


Please describe your project proposal.

Recognizing a dearth of after-school services for low-income children in the north Long Beach area, Pools of Hope developed the Swim & Achieve Homework Assistance Lab to provide professional tutoring for children at risk of grade retention and poor academic outcomes. The Swim & Achieve program is two-fold: 1) provide hands-on tutoring and homework assistance for up to one hour; and 2) provide swim lessons as an incentive and reward for engaging with the tutors each week.

Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • District-wide graduation rates
  • Proficiency in English and Language Arts and Math
  • Suspension and expulsion rates
  • Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South Bay

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to learn?

In 2015, Pools of Hope received a grant from the Goodwin Family Memorial Trust to pilot the homework assistance program for 100 children ages 6-13. The community response was incredible, with an outpouring of support the pilot project ran at full capacity and Pools of Hope maintained a lengthy waiting list to get more local children into the program.

Children in the Pools of Hope service area are often plagued with gang violence, high unemployment, and low educational achievement. The lack of supplemental educational opportunities in the area puts children further at risk of engaging in anti-social behaviors. In addition, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 1) drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional deaths among children 1-14; and, 2) the fatal drowning rate of African American children ages 5-14 is 3.1 times that of Caucasian children–making it vitally important for children in our community to learn water safety and solid swimming skills.

The Swim & Achieve Homework Assistance Lab was developed specifically to meet these pressing community needs. Swim & Achieve will reduce risk factors for children dropping out of school and increase their chances for graduating high school and continuing on to college. The program will promote confidence in learning and impart life-saving water safety skills among 100 disadvantaged children over a one-year period–giving them the ability and inspiration they need to excel in school and in life.

Students participating in Swim & Achieve receive 45 minute to one-hour tutoring sessions–with swim lessons provided to students afterwards as a reward for participation in the tutoring program. The program is expected to help children make a body-mind connection, strengthen communication skills in the Lab and in the pools, and support healthy relationships with adults who are lifeguards, instructors, and tutors. Swim & Achieve will also provide a great opportunity for year-round, part-time, paid employment–particularly for college and university students who can gain experience working with children.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Measures of success for implementing Swim & Achieve include the following:

  1. Provide homework assistance and tutoring for a minimum of 100 underserved, low-income children and youth ages 6-13 from the North Long Beach area.
  2. Provide swim lessons and water-safety courses for a minimum of 100 children and youth participating in Swim & Achieve in the after-school hours.
  3. Hire a minimum of five college students to provide tutoring and homework assistance for children and youth after-school.
  4. Disseminate surveys to children and/or their parents or guardians to determine program satisfaction, improvements in grades and school attendance, changes in self-confidence and self-awareness, and increased swim skills.
  5. Children and youth participants are expected to have improved study habits, a greater interest in learning, and increased physical activity for better health and well-being.
  6. Program participants will receive supplemental education that increases their chances of succeeding in school, graduating, matriculating into college, and leading to greater job opportunities in the future.

Pools of Hope expects that approximately 85% of the 100 children who participate in the program will improve study habits and become more proficient in their school subjects, as well as learn to swim and increase their water safety skills and abilities. The children’s progress will be tracked by participants providing a copy of reports cards as well as student/parent surveys.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
  • Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support