READINGTON, NJ - Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14. The Hunterdon County YMCA believes that all children should know how to swim and be safe in and around water. This spring, the Y is once again offering a Second Grade Learn to Swim Program at the Deer Path Branch pool in Flemington, free of charge to families in Hunterdon.
Second grade is an ideal time for young people to take on new challenges, learn more skills and enhance their feelings of mastery and competence. Through Second Grade Learn to Swim, the Hunterdon County YMCA offers children lessons in swimming skills and water safety that will keep them safe and build physical and social skills.
“Research shows that if a child doesn’t learn to swim by third grade, chances are – he or she never will. The Y is committed to wiping out childhood drowning. Through our Second Grade Learn to Swim Program, more children in our community can learn these important safety skills,” said Flora Mannino, Aquatics Director at the Y.
Students will be guided through a national YMCA curriculum that incorporates the following five components:
- Personal Safety: Students learn to be safety conscious in and around water. This information forms the basis of accident prevention. Survival skills, self-rescue and boating safety are also taught.
- Personal Growth: In learning new skills, students build self-esteem. They also learn the consequences of their choices in relation to water safety.
- Stroke Development: Students are taught stroke techniques. Paddling skills, treading, floating, basic rescue skills and safety using lifejackets are also taught.
- Water Games: Games are used to enhance skills learned. Retrieving objects underwater and passing a ball are examples of what is taught.
- Rescue: Students learn safety techniques – knowing when to yell for help, being able to go to an adult for assistance, reaching and throwing assists.
“The Y is committed to the safety of all children. As a leader in aquatics programming, we are pleased to be able to offer the Second Grade Learn to Swim Program to all Hunterdon County families. Through contributions to our Annual Campaign we are able to offer this program at no cost, so that as many children as possible can benefit from this life-saving program,” said Bruce Black, President/CEO.
The program is open to any second-grader in Hunterdon County who is a non-swimmer or beginner level swimmer. YMCA membership is not required.
Classes start Feb. 29 and run through April 17. Parents can register their child at the Deer Path or Round Valley Branch of the Hunterdon County YMCA or online www.hcymca.org. Proof of grade is required.
The Hunterdon County YMCA is one of 22 Ys across the state that is an official Make a Splash Local Partner. The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative is a national child-focused water safety campaign, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim.
For more information call 908-782-1030 or visit www.hcymca.org.