Promoting NUTRITIONAL AWARENESS and WATER SAFETY to Children

Stew Leonard III Children's Charities Announces New Initiatives to Raise Awareness During National Water Safety Month



Swim Time with Stewie the Duck Board Book and Super Stewie Safety Mobile Toss Game Teach Water Safety

Norwalk, CT (May 8, 2017) - Stew Leonard III Children's Charities announced today the launch of a new board book, Swim Time with Stewie the Duck, and a new mobile game, Super Stewie Safety Toss. Both the book and the mobile game are available just in time for the month of May, which is National Water Safety Month.

As the Leonard family continues to honor the passing of their toddler son in a drowning accident more than 25 year years ago, Stew Leonard Jr., President and CEO of Stew Leonard's, and his wife Kim have pledged to help prevent this tragedy from occurring to other families. Joining their existing book collection this spring is the new board book called Swim Time with Stewie the Duck. Using bright, bold colors and easy to understand language, Stewie guides his readers through his three water safety rules, ending with his signature Don't Jump In Til You Learn to Swim song, set to the tune of the classic Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. The board book is available for purchase at all Stew Leonard's locations and online at www.StewLeonardsGifts.com for $5.99. All proceeds benefit Stew Leonard III Children's Charities.

"After years of listening to parents tell us their experiences with reading the book to their children, one theme that became constant was how much the little ones loved singing the song. One of our girls' favorite books was Good Night Moon, which served as an inspiration for the words and pictures for Swim Time with Stewie the Duck. I'm so excited because I think this book is going to give us the opportunity to reach even more children," says Kim.

Super Stewie Safety Toss mobile game is also now available on Google Play, Amazon Kindle HD, and Apple. Children ages 5 and under now can learn the basics of water safety and make a splash with an educational and interactive game as they and parents gear up for the summer season. This timed game features three rounds of fun - with quacking ducks, bouncing beach balls, and blowing whistles - and positively reinforces Stewie the Duck's water safety message of never being by a pool, lake, ocean or river without first strapping on a life vest. At the end of the game, the child, with the help of a grownup, can take a photo of his or herself and paste it onto a dancing duck to celebrate being safe around the water. For every download, Stew Leonard III Children's Charity will provide one free swim lesson. For every game that is downloaded at the price of $1.99, the Foundation will provide one free swim lesson to an underprivileged child. Last year the Foundation provided 15,000 free swim lessons to children in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

WATER SAFETY FACTS, Courtesy of American Red Cross

  • As part of a national campaign to reduce the drowning rate by 50 percent, the Red Cross released national survey data that shows that most children and teens cannot perform basic swimming safety skills.
  • Nearly all parents (94%) expect that their children will engage in some sort of water activity. However, nearly 61% of these parents report that their child cannot demonstrate all five basic skills that could save their lives in the water. Of these, 65% are parents of children (ages 4-12) and 51 percent are parents of teens (ages 13-17).
  • The critical water safety skills, also known as "water competency," are the ability to, in this order: step or jump into the water over your head; return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute; turn around in a full circle and find an exit; swim 25 yards to the exit; and exit from the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.
  • Every day, an average of 10 people die in the U.S. from unintentional drowning - and 1 in 5 are children 14 or younger, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children and fifth for people of all ages
  • For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries

For additional information on Stewie the Duck products, Stew Leonard III Children's Charities and Stew Leonard's group of farm fresh food stores, please contact: Meghan Bell / Mbell@stewleonards.com / 203.750.6107

Follow Stewie the Duck on Facebook.com/StewLeonardIIIChildrensCharities, Twitter.com/StewieTheDuck, and Instagram.com/StewieTheDuck

About Stew Leonard III Children's Charities

On January 1, 1989, a 21-month old toddler lost his life in a drowning accident. This sparked his parents to pledge that they would do everything in their power to prevent this tragedy from striking other families, since drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under five. In 1990, that toddler's parents, Kim and Stew Leonard, founded the Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation in memory of their son. Since this time, the Foundation has raised more than $2 million dollars to go towards water safety awareness and education, including providing swim scholarships and lifeguard training, along with writing and publishing two children's books on water safety as well as a free water safety app available on iTunes, Amazon Kindle HD and Google Play. For more information, please visit www.stewietheduck.org.

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