New York City’s YMCA Promotes Water Safety with New Swim Lessons

New York City’s YMCA Promotes Water Safety with New Swim Lessons

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City kids can learn swimming and safety skills in preparation for the busy summer season.


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This month, the New York City YMCA is celebrating Water Safety Month at all 24 locations with new and enhanced swim lessons to help kids stay safe this summer, according to a press release. The newly revised program offers four different stages of instruction, from basic comfort in the water to advanced stroke clinics and lifeguard preparation classes.

No matter the level of instruction, teachers work closely with kids to build basic swimming skills and build confidence in the water to prevent drowning—the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 4 and the second leading cause of kids ages 5 to 14.

"Teaching children to swim and be safe around water is one of the most important life skills parents can offer their children," says Joann Donnelly, vice president of healthy living for New York City's YMCA in a press release. "New York City's YMCA is a proud partner for thousands of families to build strong swimmers and confident kids.”

Learning these valuable water skills is particularly pressing for urban children. A significant 64 percent of African American kids cannot swim, compared to 45 percent of Hispanic children and 40 percent of Caucasian children, according to a 2017 study from the USA Swimming Foundation. Additionally, 79 percent of children in families with household income less than $50,000 have little to no swimming ability.

Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88 percent, according to the USA Swimming Foundation, and the New York City YMCA is committed to making swimming lessons accessible to all. In 2017, the Y taught 31,000 people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds learn to swim. In order to serve such a diverse group, financial assistance and scholarships are available for those in need.

For more information about New York City's YMCA swim lessons and water safety classes, visit ymcanyc.org/swim.

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