Y swim lessons build strong kids, families

  • A mother and her child enjoy a swim at the Greenfield YMCA. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Report
Published: 2/14/2019 8:57:17 AM

GREENFIELD — The Y has two more eight-week sessions of youth swim lessons before summer.

Registration is in progress for the March-April session.

“The national youth swimming numbers are concerning, but Greenfield stats are better with The YMCA/Greenfield Public School partnership that provides up to 10 lessons (during) school year to 18 classrooms of second- through fourth-graders during the school day, and the YMCA in Greenfield’s year round swim lesson programs,” Y Aquatic Director Sarah Smith said.

“I started my YMCA management career as an aquatic director at the YMCA in Grand Forks, N.D., in 1973 — 45 years ago — and a larger percent of children had advanced beginner swim skills than today. Now drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children under 5 year, and the second cause for children ages 6 through 14,” said Y Executive Director Bob Sunderland.

Last summer the Y in Greenfield updated its lessons in accordance with new Y-USA guidelines. It makes swimming lessons available to all ages and skill levels and accommodates varying abilities to foster a sense of achievement for all. The Y offers Swim Starters water discovery and exploration for ages 6 months to 3 years; Swim Basics water acclimation, movement and stamina for all ages; and Swim Strokes, stroke introduction, development and mechanics for older students.

Sunderland said donor to the Y’s annual Sustaining Campaign help provide 35 percent of the $450,000 in financial aid the organization provides children and their families, as well as seniors, each year. Children can receive up to 70 percent financial aid for each 8-week session of swim lessons. Swim lessons are also provide at Camp Apex during the summer.

For more information, call 413-773-3646, ext. 427, or email: sarah_smith@ymcaingreenfield.org




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