Wild and Water is a nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty through the sport of swimming. We hold free swim lessons for economically disadvantaged kids, teaching them not only how to swim, but how to be safe around the water. The inspiration for Wild and Water came while I was on a camping trip with a group of economically disadvantaged children from Atlanta, GA. I was asked to accompany the kids on a swimming excursion at the lake, and was horrified at what I saw. Kids who did not know how to swim were just jumping into the water, having no idea that they would sink once they were in. I ended up rescuing five different kids at once. Being a former year round swimmer, I knew that there was something I, and all of my swimmer friends, could do about the problem.Wild and Water's first lesson was implemented on April 21, 2006 at Dynamo swim club, and was attended by the kids from the camping trip. The amount of success we saw was amazing! In just four hours, our experienced swim team volunteer swim instructors were able to teach these children how to float and swim freestyle (the crawl). Some even learned how to tread water and swim backstroke, and one girl even learned to do all of the strokes and flip turns! The children also had a half hour seminar on the importance of water safety, and learned how to behave around lakes, pools, and any other aquatic location. Wild and Water has since held numerous swim lessons with Dekalb Aquatics Swim Team, who heard from Dynamo how much fun and how rewarding the experience was, and wanted to help out. With the help of Dynamo and Dekalb Aquatics, Wild and Water has successfully taught over 70 Atlanta area economically disadvantaged kids how to swim. We have also made a partnership with Dekalb Aquatics, where we send our most passionate new swimmers to swim on the swim team for free. Wild and Water is unique in the way we engage the community in service as well. All of our volunteers are swimmers from Atlanta area swim teams, and they love that Wild and Water gives them the opportunity to share what they love with those less fortunate. We combat poverty in an innovative way; we give our kids a healthy activity to engage in and the opportunity to develop a skill, while we open the eyes of our volunteers to something that (between the many practices and swim meets), they might not have otherwise seen.Wild and Water has been honored by the Atlanta Falcons with the their Junior Community Quarterback Award, by Prudential Financial with the title of Prudential Spirit of Community Award Distinguished Finalist, and by Build a Bear Workshop with a Huggable Hero Honorable Mention. We have also been honored by the Women's Sports Foundation, Youth Service America, Cathy Cox, Tom Price and the Georgia House of Representatives, and have been featured in North Fulton Living, Neighborhood Newspaper, The Johns Creek Herald, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. I'm very happy that Wild and Water has accomplished all of this in just one year, and I look forward to making our next year even better. The ground work has been laid to expand the program to Savannah, GA and New Orleans, LA, both places with children that will definitely benefit from the program. In New Orleans, a place obviously susceptible to flooding and hurricanes, we plan to better prepare the children we work with to face any sort of dangerous water situation with a little less panic and a little more confidence, and offer them the same fun escape from a tough lifestyle that we've been offering our kids here in Atlanta. In Savannah, a city much smaller than Atlanta but with the same crime rate, we are excited to be one of the few programs offering an enriching activity to the economically disadvantaged children in the city.