Free Swim Lessons Bring Water Safety to Thousands on Eastern Shore

Eastern Shore children who don’t have safe swimming opportunities will get to learn, thanks to the Talbot County, Maryland nonprofit SOS Sink or Swim.

The organization will provide free swimming lessons to children from 18 months to 18 years old at the county’s outdoor community pools in St. Michaels and Easton. Child lessons and junior lifeguard training will run from mid-June to early August, and special adult lessons will be offered the week of the July 4th holiday.

SOS Sink or Swim has been providing free swimming lessons since 2014, no questions asked, thanks to donations and local support. President Elizabeth Moose says the service is especially valuable for those living in an area surrounded by water.

“Talbot County has more than 600 miles of shoreline, yet many children and their family members don’t have the opportunity to ever get in the water, much less to feel safe and secure when they are close to a pool, a river or the Bay,” Moose points out.

Talbot County Parks & Recreation administers the program, and registration is now open. Click here to sign up online.

Over its six years, SOS has provided 3,999 swimming lessons and raised more than a quarter of a million dollars to support its program.

“Last summer, 1,121 children learned to swim, 16 children took lifeguarding training, and 61 adults came out for our special adult sessions,” continued Moose. “Children from Critchlow Adkins Daycare Centers, the Community Resource Center, Talbot Mentors, and those through the referrals of local police organizations, churches and other local organizations, look forward every summer to learn how to swim.”

-Meg Walburn Viviano