In 2006, Wanda Butts experienced a great tragedy. Her 16 year old son, Josh, drowned while rafting in Michigan. One year later, focused on making something good come from this horrible event, Wanda started a program to teach children how to swim.
She started the Josh Project and through this program has been able to help over 1,000 kids learn to swim in Ohio. Her work serves a very important need: every day about ten people in the United States die from unintentional drowning, including several children.
Wanda has taken a great personal tragedy and focused her energy on making good come from it. She did this to honor her son and do what she can to prevent this from happening to other children. We can all learn a lot from Wanda. When we have setbacks ourselves or see others experience tragedy, we can use this as inspiration to do good.
Learn more about Wanda in this great video:
- Visit The Josh Project website to learn more about this awesome program
- See other IMK stories about people who have turned tragedy into something good:
Topics for Discussion:
- What character traits does Wanda exhibit?
- Do you know anyone who has made good come a setback or tragedy?
- Think about a tragedy that you have experienced. What might you do to help and make good come from it?
- Learn 10 simple lessons to prevent drowning
- Take an active role in supporting International Water Safety Day. Get involved yourself or ask your parent or teacher to help you spread the word
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.