BALTIMORE (SEPTEMBER 23, 2013) – Karen Cohn, co-founder of The ZAC Foundation – a water safety advocacy and education Foundation – will debut the first children’s book coauthored with her husband Brian Cohn. Mrs. Cohn will join more than 200 other authors at the 18th Annual Baltimore Book Festival on Friday, September 27. In hopes of having an impact on other children to keep families safe, the Cohn’s wrote The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim in memory of their 6-year-old son who drowned after his arm became trapped by the suction of their backyard pool drain.

“Since losing Zachary, Brian and I have dedicated our lives to ensuring every family has the tools they need to stay safe in the water. It was out of an abundance of love for our son that we wrote this book to teach children and their families simple lessons like the ABC and Ds of water safety that could hopefully save a life one day,” said Karen Cohn. “It is an absolute privilege to share our story with Baltimore through such a renowned festival.”

As seen on CNN, Fox News and over 50 network affiliates across the country, the lessons in the The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim have reached more than 1,000 children through the Foundation’s signature water safety program called ZAC Camps in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. ZAC Camps teach children valuable water-safety skills through swimming instruction, classroom lessons, and hands-on activities with First Responders.

The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim follows the journey of a young polar bear named Zeke who is afraid of the water and refuses to swim. He leaves his home in search of other animals that do not swim, and ends up finding that he can enjoy the water if he follows the ABC and Ds of water safety, while learning a valuable lesson about facing his fears with a positive attitude.

“The basics of water safety contained in this book offer a simple way for any parent or educator to teach children the fundamentals needed to stay water safe,” said President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America Jim Clark. “The Cohns have perfected kid-friendly lessons that will have a lasting impact on children’s lives.”

The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim will be available for purchase at the Festival for $9.95. All proceeds will go to support The ZAC Foundation’s commitment to advancing water safety programming nationally.

The mascot of the book’s main character – Zeke the polar bear – will make a cameo appearance at the Author’s Tent with Karen, to pose for photographs and visit with attendees.

The Baltimore Book Festival will take place on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28 from 12-8pm daily, and Sunday, September 29 from 12-7pm at Mount Vernon Place near the Walters Art Museum. Attendance is free to the public. For information on the festival, visit

About The ZAC Foundation
The ZAC Foundation was established in 2008 by Brian and Karen Cohn after the loss of their 6-year-old son Zachary Archer Cohn in a pool drain entrapment in their backyard swimming pool. Through education and advocacy, the Foundation is dedicated to ensuring no other family endures the death of a child in a water-related tragedy. To learn more about The ZAC Foundation, connect with us on Facebook and
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Members of the press interested in scheduling an interview with Karen Cohn or who would like to receive The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim Media Kit, please contact Danielle Hagen at 202.365.6112.