Learn to Swim, be Safe Around Water and Have the Best Summer Ever!

Free Swimming Lessons Available to Kids in Need

As kids and families prepare to venture out to water parks, pools and beaches this summer, the YMCA of Dane County wants to make sure that kids stay safe around water. To help, the Y will provide free swim lessons to kids in need, specifically reaching out to underserved communities where the risk of drowning among children is highest.

According to the USA Swimming Foundation, 70 percent of African-American children and 60 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, compared to just 40 percent of Caucasian children. While fatal drowning is a concern for all children—it’s the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children aged one to 14—African-American children 5–14 are three times more likely to drown than their white counterparts.

“All children deserve access to water safety resources, and the Dane County Y teaches more kids to swim than anyone in the area,” said Carrie Wall, YMCA of Dane County President/CEO. “Because our community is built around multiple bodies of water, swimming and water safety are important life skills that need fostering in all children.”

To help achieve its goal to make swim lessons more accessible for all children, this summer the Y will award 300 scholarships for free swim lessons, 100 per branch, to children in high-risk and underserved communities in Dane County.

The Y introduced the concept of group swim lessons in 1909. Now, each year in 2,200 pools across the country, the Y teaches more than a million children from all backgrounds invaluable water safety and swim skills. Here in Dane County the Y teaches about 6,300 kids to swim each year.

Use the “Programs” drop-down menu above to select “Swim Programs” to find out more!