Michael Phelps Foundation, Panasonic Expand IM Program with $100,000 in Grants

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Photo Courtesy: Michael Phelps Foundation

The Michael Phelps Foundation and Panasonic Corporation of North American Wednesday announced an expansion of the IM Program partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The initiative involves more than $100,000 in grants to provide the foundatioan’s “social-emotional curricula” when those clubs are ready to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic.

The Phelps Foundation will provide its evidence-based curriculum, IM Health, to Boys & Girls Clubs via grants. The toolkit of resources, launched in 2010, was developed in consultation with Nemours KidsHealth.org program.

The partnership with Panasonic is aimed at getting the foundation’s curriculum in at least 100 Boys & Girls Clubs. Phelps is one of many athletes part of Team Panasonic, the company’s athletic outreach arm.

“I know how challenging times can really impact the mental health of adults, but children are affected by it too and we want to provide them with support to help them understand what they may be experiencing,” Michael Phelps said in a press release. “Good mental health is just as important as good physical health and the IM program provides social, emotional, wellness and goal setting lessons that they can utilize as they re-enter the comforts of their Clubhouses. While the summer months are approaching and we are all eager for life to return to normal, we want to remind children and adults of the importance of mental health and water safety.”

The announcement coincides with Mental Health Awareness month and Water Safety Month, both of which fall in May. The Michael Phelps Foundation was created in 2008 with a goal of increasing water safety for children and young adults. It has since expanded its purview to broader goals of increasing physical, mental and emotional fitness for kids. It has provided learn-to-swim classes and other programming to more than 100,000 children, through partnerships with organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, Special Olympics International and the Level Field Fund.

“We appreciate the commitment and support of Michael and his Foundation as the IM program provides Boys & Girls Clubs with a life skills curriculum that is valuable and easy to implement,” said Frank Sanchez, Vice President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “During these especially tough times, we are concerned about our kids’ emotional wellness and this added social-emotional learning support will be very beneficial as our Clubhouses begin to re-open.”