NORWALK, Conn. -- May is National Water Safety Month and Stew Leonard Jr., President and CEO of Stew Leonard’s, and his wife Kim, want every parent -- and every kid -- to be made aware of the water's possible hazards. The couple lost their toddler son in a drowning accident more than 25 years ago.
Which is why they've made it their mission to educate folks -- in a fun way -- with their new board book, "Swim Time with Stewie the Duck," and a new mobile game, Super Stewie Safety Toss.
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," said Kim.
"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."
Just as inspiring: Super Stewie Safety Toss mobile game, available on Google Play, Amazon Kindle HD, and Apple. The timed game is intended for ages five and under and includes three rounds of fun with quacking ducks, bouncing beach balls, and blowing whistles. It 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 an adult, can take a photo of his or herself and paste it onto a dancing duck to celebrate being safe around the water.
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.