YMCA of Greater Brandywine hosts local 2nd graders for free swim lessons during National Safety Around Water Month

Since 1909 when group swim lessons were first developed at the Detroit YMCA, the Y has been a leader in educating communities on how to be safe around water. This May, as we observe National Water Safety Month, the Jennersville branch of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) hosted 160 second graders for free swim lessons focused on basic water safety and swimming skills as part of our Safety Around Water (SAW) offerings. 

Throughout the week of May 23 second graders from the Octorara Primary Education Center were transported to the Jennersville YMCA where trained instructors led groups of students through stations focused on basic water safety skills such as how to wear a lifejacket, how to identify risks around the water, basic flotation, basic movement and more. Students were also able to enjoy some recreational time in the water playing “red light, green light” and other pool games. 

At the conclusion of the Safety Around Water lessons students who could not demonstrate basic proficiency in water were provided a voucher for a free session of swim lessons to continue developing this important life skill. 

“Knowing how to swim is so much more than an activity that you learn for summer fun,” says Katie Doochack, director of risk management and aquatic safety at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine. “Being able to swim and having the facts on how to be safe in and around the water is an important life skill that saves lives; yet 1 in 10 children never get the chance to learn. Our Safety Around Water programming reviews and teaches basic swimming skills and is a great jumping off point for families to learn about their child’s water safety knowledge and ability.”  

Safety Around Water programming will continue into June with the West Chester Area YMCA hosting students from East Goshen Elementary School on Friday, June 3 and the Kennett Area YMCA hosting 70 students from Bancroft Elementary School on Tuesday, June 7 and Wednesday, June 8.  

Learn more about YMCA swim lessons and Safety Around Water programming at https://ymcagbw.org/swimlessons 

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