READINGTON, NJ - May is National Water Safety Month and the Hunterdon YMCA will celebrate by holding its Fourth National Learn to Swim Day Event on Saturday, May 20.

This free event is open to all and will be held at the Deer Path Branch pool, 144 West Woodschurch Rd. from  1 to 4 p.m. Adults and children are welcome and registration is not required. Participants are encouraged to wear a bathing suit, bring a towel, and bring a friend.

According to the American Red Cross, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 5 and the second-leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 14.  

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“Two children die every day because of drowning,” noted Y Aquatic Director, Flora Mannino. “We want that to stop. We conduct this event to draw attention to the fact that swim lessons save lives and a parent’s knowledge of ways to keep kids safe in and around the water is critical.”

The participants at last year’s event ranged in age from adults to young children. Activities this year will include mini swim lessons, swim level assessments and a water safety demonstration. There will also be a demonstration and hands-on activity covering basic water rescue and boat safety, plus a drawing for a free seven-week session of swim lessons at the Y. Event participants will have the opportunity to register for summer swim lessons.

The Y is “America’s Swim Instructor.” Nationally, the Y introduced the concept of group swim lessons in 1909. Now, in more than 2,000 pools across the country, Ys teach more than 1 million children each year. Last year, the Hunterdon Y taught almost 3,000 children water safety and swimming lessons. 

The Hunterdon YMCA is a leader in teaching children and adults the important skills of swimming and water safety. The Y offers swim lessons seven days a week and has classes for all ages; 6 months through adult.

To make swim lessons more accessible for all children, the Y also offers financial assistance through scholarships. Additionally, the Y offers the Second Grade Learn to Swim Program which provides free swim lessons to all second-graders in Hunterdon. This program runs twice a year, in spring and fall. Both of these programs are funded by donations to the Y’s Annual Campaign.

For more information, Contact Aquatic Director, Flora Mannino at (908) 483-4924 or fmannino@hcymca.org.