YMCA offering free water safety classes for kids

Published 9:08 am Thursday, May 20, 2021

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Registration for the YMCA’s Safety Around Water or SAW program from May 24-28 is open and is set to take place at locations throughout the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina Association.

This free program teaches kids the basics of swimming and water safety.

“Learning how to swim, or just having access to a community pool, is not always a given to every family,” said Stan Law, president and CEO of the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina. “With the resources available and skilled, knowledgeable staff on site, the Y is in the best position to help as many children learn how to swim, and to be safe when they’re around water. The Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for years.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 years old. In ethnically diverse communities, the youth drowning rate is two to three times higher than the national average, according to a USA Swimming study. Additionally 64 percent of African-American children, 45 percent of Latino children, and 40 percent of Caucasian children have no or low swimming ability.

This year, the Y aims to serve 1,400 children through SAW, the largest number of kids served, since starting the program in 2016. Grant funding from YMCA of the USA and annual donations makes this free program possible.  This is the largest SAW grant the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina has ever received.

The Davie Family YMCA will offer the program from 5-6:15 p.m. and 6-7:15 p.m.

During these time slots, the indoor pools at these branches will be closed to members.

Registration can be done in-person at the Y, or by calling 336-777-8055 and pressing option 8. More information can be found at ymcanwnc.org/safetyaroundwater, or by contacting a.mccarter@ymcanwnc.org.