Submitted by South Sound YMCA

This summer 170 students participated in swim lessons at the Y as part of their summer school curriculum in the North Thurston and Hood Canal School Districts. Over the course of the summer, each student spent 5 hours in the pool focusing on breath control, back floats, and front glides. Mastering these basic skills are critical for safety in the water and provide a foundation for strong swimmers in the future.

According to the USA Swimming Foundation, “One month of formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning in children by 88%.” And, while we know that swim instruction and water safety is critical, many children and families don’t have access to these life-saving programs. Furthermore, swimming is a platform for students to build confidence, achieve goals, and build trust with caring adult mentors.

“Being able to see children who have never ridden a bus or gone in a pool before gaining the confidence to put their face in the water and start swimming brings the deepest joy and excitement to my summer! I am truly grateful that we can support children in building swim skills and confidence.”  Ian Mackenzie, YMCA Staff Member

Partnerships are key to creating more accessible and equitable communities. This is why the South Sound YMCA partnered with two local districts this year to provide lessons free of charge to students participating in summer academic programs.

Funding came through a grant from the USA Swimming Foundation.

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