Swim with children with special needs!

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Special Needs Aquatic Program (SNAP) Palo Alto

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The Special Needs Aquatic Program (SNAPkids.org) is a community based aquatic program for children with special gifts and needs. SNAP is a lot of fun and makes a difference for all the swimmers we work with. Our special swimmers rely on our volunteer helpers to create the magic each week. We provide training and guidance. You must be a capable swimmer. We hope you'll consider helping out! : )

Our special swimmers range from 1 - 18 years old and have physical and/or developmental challenges such as cerebral palsy and autism. Our talented helpers will work directly with our special swimmers each week. You will be paired with a swimmer and likely another helper to create fun activities to meet the needs of your swimmer. Training and support are provided, leadership opportunities are available. Your creativity, good energy, and fun are all welcome! We hope that you build a special relationship with your swimmer as SNAPkids is often a highlight of the week for our swimmers and volunteers.

We hold 7 week quarters starting in October, January, and April following the Stanford calendar. Our classes are on Fridays at 4:30, 5:15, 6:00. Classes are held at the Palo Alto YMCA (3412 Ross Road).

You must be a capable swimmer, at least 15 years old (young adult to retirees are welcome), enjoy children, have a good sense of humor, and a playful nature. As our swimmers do better with consistency we give preference to volunteers who can commit to more than one quarter. It's great fun for all! : )

See you in the water!

More opportunities with Special Needs Aquatic Program (SNAP) Palo Alto

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.

About Special Needs Aquatic Program (SNAP) Palo Alto


PO Box 120, Berkeley, CA 94701, US

Mission Statement

SNAP’s mission is to give children with physical and/or developmental challenges the chance to play, exercise, make friends, have fun, and build confidence and independence. At SNAP all children are swimmers. We believe that by utilizing volunteers from our community we help create awareness, foster acceptance, create opportunities for the future and enrich the fabric of our community for children (and ultimately adults) with special needs.


Volunteer "helpers" are paired with swimmers and work to help meet their swimmer's needs. Volunteers swim weekly during the school year and commit for at least one semester. Training is provided. You must be very comfortable in the water (strong swimming skills are preferred). You must be willing to learn, enjoy children, and have a warm smile. Working with our swimmers will become the highlight of your week! : )


We'll work with your schedule.


3412 Ross RoadPalo Alto, CA 94303



  • Special Needs
  • Swimming
  • People Skills
  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Water Recreation
  • Child Welfare


  • Teens
  • People 55+


  • Must be at least 15
  • Orientation or Training
  • 1, 2 or 3 hours per week on Fridays for a 7 week quarter (fall, winter, spring) following the Stanford calendar. We prefer volunteers who can help for more than one quarter.
  • You must be at least 15 years old (young adults and retirees welcome), be a capable swimmer, have positive energy, and enjoy working with children. Smiles and playfulness are required.

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