YMCA offers water safety lessons

ESCANABA — The Northern Lights YMCA offers water safety incorporated into all of its youth swimming programs. Safety lessons are designed to engage and educate participants about the importance of water safety skills.

According to a 2017 national research study conducted by the USA Swimming Foundation with the University of Memphis and 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 Youth Swimming programs, parents and caregivers are encouraged to help their children learn fundamental water safety and swimming skills. During the course, children will learn how to respond if they find themselves in unexpected water situations — from how to reach the water’s surface if they submerge to safely reaching a pool’s edge or exiting any body of water.

“For generations, staying safe around water meant keeping kids away from water, but it’s time to start a new family tradition by learning basic water safety skills,” said Megan Gouin, Aquatics Director at the Northern Lights YMCA. “Formal swimming lessons are a great starting point to not only get kids comfortable in the water, but also teach their parents the importance of developing water safety skills.”

No family or child is turned away for inability to pay. Financial assistance is available, and a one page application can be found at our front desk or online at www.nlymca.com/delta.

The Y introduced the concept of group swim lessons in 1909. Now, each year in more than 2,000 pools across the country, the Y teaches more than a million children from all backgrounds invaluable water safety and swim skills. Here in Escanaba, the Y teaches over 700 children water safety and swimming each year. Through youth swimming lessons, the Y hopes to further bridge access gaps that can prevent some children from learning important water safety skills.

Families interested in learning more about water safety and how to enroll their child in local Y swimming and water safety classes should visit www.nlymca.com/delta