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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Water Smart Tots Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Sports, Swimming & Other Water Recreation

Mission: Water Smart Tots, Inc. is a 501(C)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to eliminating pediatric drowning in the Tampa Bay area by promoting awareness through (1) water safety education and by (2) providing access to survival swimming skills to children ages 1 to 6 years who are financially underprivileged, or who have special needs.

Results: Educated over 2,200 Tampa Bay area 1.5-7 year old children on water safety/drowning prevention. Provided over 225 children who are financially underprivileged or who have special needs with survival swim lesson scholarships.

Target demographics: financially underprivileged or children who have special needs aged 1 to 6 years

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500 children learn about water safety and provided 71 children with survival swim scholarships.

Geographic areas served: Tampa Bay area, Florida

Programs: (1) water safety education and by (2) providing access to survival swimming skills to children ages 1 to 6 years who are financially underprivileged, or who have special needs.

Community Stories

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Gary R.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jada really learn how to breath properly and more importantly how to be safer in the water

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you water Smart Tots for the support and giving the opportunity to the families who can’t afford. We are so thankful for all your help and thank you Kari for giving my twin boys your best and dealing with their worst with patience. I thank each and everyone of you for the support again. And giving us the opportunity.

Tricia Hobbs C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a lot of fear about childhood drowning because my niece died in a pool at 3 years old. This opportunity for my son to learn how to swim and float before he was two to help save his life if something should ever happen was a God send. My son got sick twice during his lessons and had to go several extra weeks in order to learn the skills necessary. Ms. Kari was so incredibly patient with him and also persistent when he needed to be pushed more. He not only learned to swim and float but also learned his primary colors by swimming for the cars during the lessons. He loved his lessons and really bonded with Ms. Kari. It was such a great experience for us both and now I feel better about his safety in and around water.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have had a wonderful experience with Kari at Watch me Swim all because of water smart tots! Without their scholarship help our twin girls would not be as safe as they could be around our home pool and elsewhere. We are so very thankful for this nonprofit and for Kari! Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an incredible program. My son has mastered many water skills. He has learned to be confidant in the water and loves to swim. I will continue to have my kids do refresher classes. The peace of mind I have knowing my kids can be safe in water is a gift.

Carol S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 5 yr old son who has Down Syndrome, and very limited in speech is learning such a valuable skill with Ms Kari. She is so good with him and even though he's not always easy to handle she's got a loving way with him and the patience to work wonders. So happy to have him learning through the program and from Ms. Kari.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son with Down Syndrome was taught with such patience by Kari. He's certainly on his way to learn survival water skills. Thank you so much.

Read more

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so grateful that this organization helped me get my children the swim lessons they needed. I feel so much safer with them around water now. What this organization is doing is allowing families an opportunity to make sure that one less child drowns each time they approve an application and I am so grateful.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am more than impressed with the results of water smart tots and the safety classes they offer. Not only is this service free for qualifying applicants but it is a vital skill that all children should learn. In 6-8 weeks your child is confident swimming, floating and saving themselves if they fall in. The last day of lessons when you watch your child swim to the ledge and pull themselves up so they can breathe is amazing. At only one year old I felt confident that if God forbid my child were to ever fall in the pool, she could swim to the stairs and walk right out safely.

Janann C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cant thank Water Smart Tots enough for allowing my children to have quality swim lessons that we could not afford any other way! What an amazing program this is!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am very pleased and thankful for the help of water tots. with out the help I don't believe I would of had my daughter attend her survival lessons.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son was 6 years old and was affraid of water and swimming. Withing 3 weeks he was swimming underwater and floating safely on his back, taught to reserve energy and how to breath in just 12 classes 10 minutes long. I even got to witness some young infant graduate the class, it was amazing that you cant teach little babies without speaking to them. I loved it and cant wait to start my youbgest son this spring!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Xe-Xe has been participating in the program for two years
and she has gone from just a floater to a full time swimmer and
she isn't even three years old yet. I would recommend the program to
anyone living near a body of water.

Barbra M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 2 & 3 years old sons learned the skills to survive should they fall into a pool/body of water. I can not afford for them to take these lessons and appreciate the generosity & most importantly the peace of mind that Water Smart Tot has afforded me & my sons.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son received 6 weeks of survival swim lessons. At 2.5 years old, he was able to get himself into a back float from a variety of positions (such as, being placed vertically into water, jumping off a step, or sliding in from the pool edge). He has a great relationship with the water now; he understands his strengths and limitations. He listens better and practices safer behavior around the pool in general. Our son is now almost 3, he has a speech delay and vision issues resulting from early onset cataracts. He is an impulsive, brave, and active child. Time spent around the water is now a pleasant experience rather than one spoiled by mom's irrational fears. We will always recommend this program and feel so blessed to have been selected!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Everybody I have come into contact with at Water Smart Tots are very knowledgeable and respond quickly to any questions you may have. The swimming classes do not replace supervision in water by any means but by taking these lessons my child has built so much confidence. Classes are available to everybody no matter what your income is. I definently have and will continue to recommend Water Smart Tots to my friends or anybody that asks me about swimming lessons

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you Water Smart Tots for giving my son the opportunity to learn a skill that will help save his life if he ever were to experience falling in the water. Without the help of this organization I would have not been able to afford these important lessons! Kari is an amazing teacher and i recommend her every time when i hear people ask about swimming lesson .

Client Served

Rating: 5

This nonprofit helped my kiddos learn survival water skills! Very thankful!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Living in Florida it is so critical that ALL children should learn survival swimming. So thankful for WST!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing experience. Kari is an absolute master at what she does. I would recommend her and this program to everyone.

Client Served

Rating: 5

THANK YOU FOR GIVING MY CHILDREN A OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE SWIM LESSONS

Samantha89

Client Served

Rating: 5

Because of this non-profit, my 3 youngest children know how to survive in water and can instinctively swim if they fell into water. I did not have the resources to allow them to do thurs without this non-profit. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Kima S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Water smart tots gave my children and wonderful opportunity to save their lives. Accidents happen and thankfully they will be able to save themselves before I get to them. Not only that but they love the water now!!!!

Melissa331

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Such a great nonprofit! As a single mom, I was unable to afford swim lessons and with a lake right across the street from my home, I was seriously worried.

1 Michele120

Client Served

Rating: 5

The scholarship program and list of instructors made it so easy for my partner and I to get our children swimming lessons. Our kids are now confident in the pool and know how to swim, float swim and find the wall if needed.

Thank you and will highly recommend.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you Water Smart Tots for giving my son the opportunity to learn a skill that will help save his life if he ever were to experience falling in the water. Without the help of this organization I would have not been able to afford these important lessons! Now my son knows how to flip over from front to back no matter which way he falls in the pool and no matter what is wearing. Thank you so much for this opportunity!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Water Smart Tots Inc is a great organization! I was worried about my son (2 years old) with all the water around our area, but now thanks to Water Smart Tots I'm at ease. There is no way I would of been able to afford swim lessons for my son on my own. My son was offered a scholarship through Water Smart Tots and thanks to them, and his awesome swim instructor Kari Bahour at Watch Me Swim, he is now a little swimmer and safe in the water!

1 Crystal89

Client Served

Rating: 5

My children were able to take lessons they would not have had to opportunity to enjoy without the help of Water Smart Tots. They learned so much and had a great time.

1 Jessica280

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had a wonderful experience with Water Smart Tots Inc, starting with their efficiency and ending with their generosity. We love their vision for children's water safety and are blessed to have been able to connect with them. We highly recommend them!

1 Lauren125

Client Served

Rating: 5

So blessed to have this scholarship available for my son with Autism. We are looking forward to our refresher lessons in August to keep him on top of the skills he learned. This scholarship helped lessen the financial burden of everyday therapy costs for a life saving skill.

Can't thank them enough.

1 Teresa45

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have only wonderful things to say about Water Smart Tots and Ms. Kari! Thank you so much for teaching my autistic grandson how to swim and survival skills to save him! If it weren't for the grant, he would not have been able to attend due to financial reasons. Ms. Kari is a fantastic teacher! She knew exactly what to do to teach him! :)

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thanks for Water Smart Tots and Watch me swim for the wonderful aquatic self-rescue swim lessons. At the beginning, it was hard to watch my youngest son struggled with swimming skills, but after a few weeks, it was surprising to me that he was able to turn and float (swim-float-swim), a survival skill that can save his life from drowning. I never dream of have the one-on-one survival swimming lessons for my sons. Fortunately with the help of professional instructor Kari and passionate Cammie, it came true. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude for all your support. I appreciate the scholarships from Water Smart Tots, it is a great and enjoyable program with a BIG mission!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member with Water Smart Tots for two years now. The organization has grown with its success in placing children into classes. The board members of this organization have all shown dedication to helping the youth of today find a way to get these lessons.

Manuela Y.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I still remember when our family was moving to FL from CT and waking up from a terrible nightmare in which my oldest child (almost 3 at the time) was facing down and had drown at a pool! It was at that moment that I prioritized swimming lessons for my children. My first goal was to find an instructor that was fully committed to the students and whose dedication was tangible and observable within each lesson. These are the qualities that Kari Bahour possesses and carries within each of her classes. As a parent, we must ensure to take all the steps necessary to protect our children from tragic accidents and survival swimming lessons are a must. Please consider donating to a great cause. Water Smart Tots is an outstanding organization. Kari Bahour is an amazing instructor. She is fully committed to teaching water safety to the community and to ensure that each of her students learns the necessary life saving skills in the water. I know our family was truly lucky to have found her.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was pleasantly surprised to see the skills my children learned so quickly through the survival swim lessons. They had a lot of fun and the instructor was great! We are looking forward to refreshers to ensure our children are equipped with the right skills to swim effectively. -Thankful Dad

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This nonprofit which is run by volunteers is truly a life-changing organization. Not only do the instructors provide life saving skills but, they are also actively involved in teaching water safety to the community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Water Smart Tots is an amazing organization which and changing lives and which I was able to be a part of last year. WST turned out 30 graduates during the 2015 swim season which means 30 less changes for possible drowning or near drowning.

I work in the medical field and have been personally involved with a child who experienced a near drowning at almost three years of age. A simple mistake that affected a family and community greatly. Unfortunately, this sweet little boy just recently lost his fight after three long years of ups and downs.

Water safety and water survival skills are critical elements for a young child especially here in Florida. Miss Kari Bahour is entrirely dedicated to doing as much as possible to prevent these tragic events from happening. She is caring and definitely has a passion for what she does. In addition to teaching these students at a drastically reduced rate, Kari often goes beyond generously gives of her time to those in need.

Please please consider Water Smart Tots in your giving and help save a life. I have seen this organization in opperation first hand and can ensure that your gift will go to great use!

2 Sarah294

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 3 children, now 3, 4, and 5 benefitted greatly from the Water Smart Tots program. I was very happy with the way they were treated! They love the water now and I am confident that they are much safer with the skills they learned in the program. Thank you Water Smart Tots!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a blessing Water Smarts Tots has been for our family! We knew we needed to help our children become efficiently water smart, but did not have the means to do it the best way. Our dear friend encouraged and guided the way to WST and we were blessed with a scholarship that provided lessons. My 3 children loved every session with their instructor Emma and learned great tools to survive accidents and enjoy water time fun! We are so grateful to have learned about Water Smart Tots and benefited from their wonderful generosity!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Kari and her volunteers at Water Smart Tots are genuinely troubled by the high rate of drownings in Hillsborough County and set out to change that by offering survival swim lessons to children that could not otherwise afford them and increasing education in water safety. This is a needed endeavor for this county and as a parent of past swim students of Kari's, I am certain she is well equipped to meet this need!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kari is an amazing teacher! My son has made so much progress in so little time ! She really has a way with the kids and keeping them focused ! I'm so glad that we were able to do lessons with her.