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New York City’s YMCA Gears Up for Summer With National Water Safety Month

The Y helps kids and adults stay safe and develop a lifelong love of swimming just in time for summer

NEW YORK, NY /PRNewswire/ -- During National Water Safety Month, New York City's YMCA is gearing up for summer by promoting our new enhanced swim lessons, which teach young people basic swim skills, build confidence, and support drowning prevention.

Swimming is the most popular recreational activity for children nationwide, according to the CDC. Even so, drowning remains the leading cause of death for children 1 to 4 years old and the second leading cause of death for children 5 to 14.

Drowning also poses a significant threat to African American and low-income children. According to a 2017 study from the USA Swimming Foundation, 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 or low swimming ability.

For over 100 years, the YMCA has been providing high-quality swim instruction to children and families to prevent drowning and build a love of the sport. In 2017 alone, New York City's YMCA helped 31,000 people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds learn to swim and develop water safety skills. In fact, more than half of our 2017 swimming participants were people of color. In addition, to ensure everyone can participate in our programs, the YMCA provides financial assistance to those in need to help cover the costs.

To increase accessibility and enhance instruction, New York City's YMCA joined Ys across the country to update its swim lessons in January 2018. The enhanced program accommodates varying abilities to build confidence as swimmer's progress between levels. 

"Teaching children to swim and be safe around water is one of the most important life skills parents can offer their children," said Joann Donnelly, Vice President of Healthy Living for New York City's YMCA. "New York City's YMCA is a proud partner for thousands of families to build strong swimmers and confident kids."

The YMCA of the USA 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.

Families interested in learning more about New York City's YMCA swim lessons and water safety classes should visit ymcanyc.org/swim.
 

About New York City's YMCA

New York City's YMCA is here for all New Yorkers — to empower youth, improve health, and strengthen community. Founded in 1852, today the Y serves a diverse population of more than half a million New Yorkers who learn, grow, and thrive through programs and services at our 24 branches. Community is the cornerstone of the Y. Together, we connect active, engaged New Yorkers to build stronger communities. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ymcanyc.