School Grant Program

The Lifesaving Society's Canadian Swim-to-Survive® Standard defines the essential minimum skills required to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. The Society recognizes that there is a wide range of aquatic training well beyond this minimum.

Kids on school bus

The Lifesaving Society's Swim to Survive Program consists of:

  1. Three in-water lessons of 1 hr. each, focusing on a sequence of three skills: Roll entry - Tread water 1 min. - Swim 50 m
  2. Three in-classroom water safety lessons.

What is a Swim to Survive School Program grant?

A Swim to Survive grant may only be used to help provide a minimum of three in-water Swim to Survive lessons to Grade 3 children within an elementary school program, during school hours. Grant funds may be used to help defray the costs of:

  1. transporting students between school and pool
  2. instructor costs
  3. aquatic facility rental costs


The Lifesaving Society aims to reach as many Ontario Grade 3 students as possible with Swim to Survive training. Because grant funds are limited, the Society is relying upon the generosity of participating school boards and their partners to support this program with matching service and in-kind sponsorship.

Who may apply for a grant?

Any Ontario school board with its own aquatic facilities is eligible to apply. So too is a partnership of school boards or schools with others like regional governments, municipalities, and aquatic facilities. We encourage all Ontario school boards to apply. The Lifesaving Society will accept applications from individual elementary schools in districts where the school board is not participating.

How are grants approved?

A Lifesaving Society selection committee determines grant recipients on the basis of the criteria outlined below. The Lifesaving Society will allocate grants across the six Ontario Ministry of Education regional areas:

  1. Toronto and Area
  2. Ottawa
  3. North Bay/Sudbury
  4. London
  5. Barrie
  6. Thunder Bay

Effort will be made to allocate grants within each region to both rural and urban locations, separate and public school boards, English and French school boards.

Evaluation criteria

The Lifesaving Society will only fund applicants who have the capacity to execute the Swim to Survive School Program successfully.

Priority is given to:

  1. incorporated organizations such as school boards, schools, municipalities, YMCAs
  2. boards and schools with confirmed access to aquatic facilities
  3. applicants with additional cash or in-kind support for transportation, facility and instructional staff costs in addition to the Lifesaving Society grant

In reviewing applications, the Lifesaving Society evaluates:

  1. Community support including volunteer time, contributions from other organizations, cash or in-kind support from corporate sponsors or individual donors.
  2. Grant-per-student ratio. Because the Society aims to deliver survival training to as many students as possible, the grant-per-student becomes an important factor in maximizing the impact of the available funds. A grant request for $5 per student is low and excellent. A grant request for $10 per student is fair. A grant request for more than $15 per student is high. The Society seeks applicants with maximum facility grant requests of $40 per hour and maximum instructional staff grant requests of $15 per hour.
  3. Ability to provide proof of insurance coverage for participants during transportation and during in-water lessons.

When may I apply?

The Lifesaving Society accepts applications on or before the deadline dates below.

Application Deadline

Please note there will only be one application deadline for the 2023/24 school year.

June 30, 2024 - Application Deadline
TBD - Notification Deadline

To access an online application, send full details including name, contact email, address of the school, school board, or pool that would like to apply to Bianca Fazzari (see contact information at the end of this page).


Bayshore boy swimming

When is grant money paid?

The Lifesaving Society releases grant funds only after completion of the Swim to Survive Program and once the required information has been completed in the application:

  1. Results completed for each school that participated in the program.
  2. Submission of reimbursement including final costs and program sponsorship.

The Society also looks for completion of the online surveys from the school teacher(s), participants and their parents.

Approved grants will be revoked if the Grant Reimbursement Report and Results are not received by the Lifesaving Society within the timeline specified in the approval notification letter.

Note: The Society's Swim to Survive Schools Program is supported with public funds and may be audited by the Government of Ontario. All Swim to Survive grant applications are public documents that may be reviewed by auditors of boards of education, municipalities or viewed by media. Parters are encouraged to maintain copies of their documentation.

Where does the grant money come from?

The Swim to Survive program is generously supported by the Stephanie Gaetz KEEPSAFE Foundation and the Ontario Ministry of Education.


If you have questions about the program or application, contact Lifesaving Society Public Education Coordinator Bianca Fazzari.

Phone - 416-490-8844
Fax - 416-490-8766