The Sam Bernstein Law Firm has provided funding to the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit’s “Detroit Swims” program, thanks to a unique partnership with CBS EcoMedia’s WellnessAd program. The Sam Bernstein Law Firm’s support has allowed for eight-week swimming lessons at the Boll Family YMCA for 216 children with physical and cognitive impairments. The lessons began in the Fall and run through April.
The law firm’s funding specifically supports swim instructors and lifeguards, transportation, life jackets, and water toys for 216 children. The participants each receive three YMCA family guest passes to encourage family recreation and participation in YMCA activities.
YMCA’s Detroit Swims program not only ensures the water safety of Detroit’s special needs youth, but also helps with behavior and speech therapy. The curriculum is flexible to meet children where they are and builds on confidence, safety, and aquatic environment competency.
The 216 swim program participants are from eight schools across metro Detroit, including Spain Elementary-Middle, Marcus Garvey Academy, Nichols School, A.L. Holmes Elementary, Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy, Keidan Special Education School, Turning Point Academy, and Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School. Teachers and school aides work side by side with YMCA staff to reinforce the learning and social skills taught in the classroom.
To celebrate this partnership, the Boll Family YMCA hosted representatives from the Sam Bernstein Law Firm and CBS EcoMedia, who toured the facility and interacted with children in the swim program.
“Since our family started the Sam Bernstein Law Firm, our focus has always been on providing support for Michigan families who need it most,” said Mark Bernstein, president and managing partner at the Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “The Boll Family YMCA’s swim program is one example of worthy activities dedicated to the development of a sense of self-assurance to help kids not only enjoy themselves safely in the water but build confidence in themselves beyond. With more support, we know the program will accomplish more great things.”
“Through this generous gift, we are able to help more youth learn important and potentially life-saving skills to ensure they are safe around water,” said Elena Crowley, director of community outreach at the Boll Family YMCA. “Unfortunately, the cost of swim lessons can be a huge barrier preventing a child to learn to swim, but through donations to Detroit Swims, we are able to remove those financial barriers and keep more kids safe.”
“The Sam Bernstein Law Firm has a long history of public service and supporting people with special needs,” said Paul Polizzotto, president and founder of CBS EcoMedia. “Their participation in CBS EcoMedia’s WellnessAd program to once again support local youth and families is a demonstration of their commitment to the metro Detroit community.”
—Eisha Vatsal, Robert Mathis, and Lynn Ingram contributed to this story.
Published on February 8, 2016