(BLOOMINGTON) – In preparation for the coming summer months, the Monroe County YMCA is hosting free Safety Around Water classes from Monday, April 8 through Thursday, April 11.
The Y Aquatics team will lead 30-minute lessons to teach kids a variety of basic water skills, from jumping into the water to floating in the water. Kids ages 3-12 are welcome to participate; participants will be divided into groups based on their age and swim ability ranging from beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
Although the last lesson will take place on Thursday, an Open Swim with games and giveaways will be offered on Sunday, April 14 for the entire family. From 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m., Safety Around Water participants can enjoy the Northwest Y pool with family members, which gives them a chance to show off all of the water skills they will have mastered earlier in the week.
Thanks to Commercial Service, the event sponsor, the Monroe County Y is able to provide 45 scholarships to children from low-income and under-served communities to participate in these free water safety lessons. The lessons teach young people valuable skills like what to do if they find themselves in the water unexpectedly, a situation every child should be equipped to handle. Fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14 years old. According to the 2017 Drowning Prevention Report prepared by the DNR, 29 children died in Indiana due to drowning.
The problem is particularly acute among minority communities. For example, African American children ages five to 14 are three times more likely to drown than Caucasian children the same age. The disparity is partly due to the lack of swimming experience among these children. According to a 2017 national research study conducted by the USA Swimming Foundation with the University of Memphis and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 64 percent of African American children cannot swim, compared to 45 percent of Hispanic children, and 40 percent of Caucasian children. Additionally, 79 percent of children in families with household income less than $50,000 have no/low swimming ability.
Through Safety Around Water, the Y hopes to further bridge cultural and access gaps that can prevent some children from learning important water safety skills. Safety Around Water classes are free, but registration is required and filling quickly: www.monroecountyymca.org/news/safety-around-water
The Y also offers year-round swim lessons in their indoor pools at both the Southeast and Northwest Y locations. Fees, class schedules, and program details can be found at www.monroecountyymca.org/swim-lessons. Here in Monroe County, the Y teaches around 1,500 children water safety and swimming each year.
To learn more about the Y Aquatics programs, contact the Aquatics Director, Kilie Hoffa, at 812-961-2178 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Y
At the Monroe County YMCA, strengthening communities is our cause through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Every day, we work side by side with our neighbors to help build a healthier Monroe County. As one of the nation’s leading nonprofits, the Y helps empower men, women, and children – regardless of age, income or background – nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the community’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support our neighbors. We strive to give the people of Monroe County everything they need to stay strong, to grow, and to thrive. www.MonroeCountyYMCA.org