The first step to being able to enjoy any water activity is learning how to swim. Jeff Ellis Swimming was introduced to The Field House Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Center-Waukegan Park District in 2017. Waukegan Park District has been a long-standing partner with Jeff Ellis Management for lifeguarding services and needed help providing swim lessons to their community. The Waukegan Park District 2nd grade swim lessons were born! The Illinois operations team have the pleasure of going to The Field House Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Center every other week on Thursdays to teach 3 separate lessons for an entire school of second graders. We currently teach 15 schools annually including both public and private schools. Each class consists of a 40 minute lesson and 10 minutes of play time in the kiddie pool. As a class, we go over our beginner skills which includes bobs, floats, kicking, front crawl and rockets. At the end of the swim lesson we practice our jumping in skills, which everyone loves! Our Illinois team always puts a strong emphasis on staying safe in any aquatic activities. With this in mind, drowning is the 2nd leading cause of death in children under the age of 14 and according to The Center of Disease Control and Prevention from 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States which is about 10 deaths per day. These numbers are staggering and with our continued mission to introduce children to the water by using Jeff Ellis Swimming lessons we can drastically reduce these numbers and keep our children safe around water-related activities. This experience has been fulfilling and eye-opening to all of us here at JEM Illinois and a great reminder that swim lessons are a life-saving activity that all children should have the opportunity to experience.