Krans making waves helping underprivileged children
By Janelle Fisher
DE PERE – Anna Krans, a junior at De Pere High School, is helping give back to her community by using her skills as a lifeguard to offer free swim lessons to underprivileged kids in the Greater Green Bay area.
Krans started Lessons by Lifeguards in 2021, and has since taught water safety skills to 50 kids with the help of community organizations and volunteers.
She said each session consists of five, one-hour lessons covering swimming basics and teaching kids how to be safe around water.
As a lifeguard and swim instructor, Krans said she started Lessons by Lifeguards as a way to offer swim lessons to kids who otherwise might not get them.
“Something that I kind of thought of was what was happening to the kids that weren’t gaining the water safety skills that are such an important part of being safe around water?” she said.
Recognizing the need, Krans said she launched Lessons by Lifeguards and began looking for funding and volunteers.
Krans said the first session, held in August 2021, helped teach water safety skills to 25 local kids, and was funded by a Canary Fund grant.
“Myself and like 10 other volunteer lifeguards that I worked with taught 25 kids using the grant at the local YWCA,” she said.
Lessons by Lifeguards has since hosted a second session helping an additional 25 kids, which Krans said was funded by the Pink Flamingo.
Krans said water safety skills aren’t the only positive thing to come out of these swim lessons.
“It’s been really amazing to see the kids and the volunteer swim instructors/lifeguards interact and build a really supportive, encouraging swim community at the YWCA,” she said.
With two successful sessions already under her belt, Krans said she hopes the project will continue to reach even more kids.
“I’m really hoping that we’re going to be able to teach 100 kids how to swim,” she said. “We’re at 50 right now, and I want to get 50 more. That’s a big goal of mine.”
Krans said thanks to the support from organizations like the YWCA, Lessons by Lifeguards is well on its way to achieving that goal.
“I think they’ve been an amazing partnership,” she said. “The director, Amy Schaeuble, and the swim director, Regan Dahnert, have been super, super amazing, super empowering.”
Krans said none of this would be possible without support from Lessons by Lifeguards’ volunteers, all of whom are local lifeguards and high school students donating their time to the project.
“We’ve had amazing volunteers,” she said. “Lots of the girls that I worked with over the summer have been key in making that happen and then they are also swim team members. I think it’s just so cool because I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without their help. There could only be like me and three kids in the pool, instead of me and 25 kids, without all my other friends that help.”
Krans said she’s also proud that all Lessons by Lifeguards instructors are female.
“I think it’s really cool too, that this is all female-led,” she said. “All the volunteers are female, the YWCA is a female organization. I just think it’s really empowering.”