Rotary eClub One, District 5450
World's 1st eClub (Jan 2002)

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Swimming Safety and Josh, The Baby Otter

As you read this article, consider: How can this program help your family members keep safe? Is there a place in your community where your Rotary Club could present Josh, the Baby Otter? Let’s see what you can do to make swimming safe for children.

Each year approximately 4,000 adults die in the U.S. as a result of drowning.

Approximately 84% of those were not wearing a PFD (personal flotation device). Always wear a PFD no matter what size the boat. There should be a PFD for each person aboard the boat.

Each year over 380 children in the USA drown and 80% of those are under age five. All children should have a PFD until they are five years old

It is estimated that over 375,000 drownings occur worldwide. Most are children. It is believed that there are closer to 1.2 million actual drownings. The discrepancy is due to lack of documentation. The poorer the country the higher the rate.

All children should know about Josh the Baby Otter Water Safety Program.

The Josh the Baby Otter Water Safety Program is one designed to keep children safe around the water and to prevent accidental drowning of children. According to the US Center for Disease Control & Prevention, drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death in children under the ag of 5 years old, and the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 14 (second to the #1 cause: car accidents).

It is our belief that through early childhood education, we can teach our children that they should NEVER BE AROUND THE WATER WITHOUT AN ADULT. A mascot was created, Josh the Otter, to help teach this message in a fun way that children understand and can get excited about. The children's book, Josh the Baby Otter, is a story about a young otter who learns to float on his back in the water by being taught by his mother. He also is never in or near the water without his mother or a buddy.

The children's book comes with a CD, which includes an audio read of the entire book, a sing along song, an audio read of the Water Safety Pledge, and a PowerPoint presentation of the book, in case it is being presented/read to a large audience. In addition, Joshua's Foundation provides every child with a Josh the Baby Otter coloring book and sticker, to further reinforce this message and remind the children of what they learned from Josh.

In Florida, the Rotarians who have adopted our Josh program have had the children's book approved by their local school board/district and have purchased a book for every child in the current kindergarten class in the community. Rotarians interested in buying ONE copy of the book may do so on the Josh website below. It sells for $10.00 and you pay through PayPal. If you visit the website: you can read the children's book in its entirety online, just to give you an idea of the book's message. There are apps available for Apple and android phones. The book is available on Amazon as well. Check out YouTube for more videos of Josh the Baby Otter.

Questions? You may email Meghan Sodoro , Executive Director.
The Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation
Phone: 402.850.6400
Phone: 402.850.6400

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