LIVINGSTON, NJ — The West Essex YMCA in Livingston has revamped its swimming lesson program to help students at all ability levels progress at their own pace.

When students register for the "Fall 1" session, they’ll choose classes from three categories: Swim Starters, for children ages six months to age 3; Swim Basics, for all ages; and Swim Strokes, for school-age children, teens and adults who have mastered the fundamentals.

Created by the YMCA of the USA, the swim lesson upgrade has been extensively tested at YMCAs across the nation.

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“The new approach has proven to help students with different abilities gain confidence as their skills advance,” said Scott Weber, West Essex YMCA aquatics director. “Advanced swimmers can reach higher levels more quickly, while others can get the additional instruction they need, making the experience more enjoyable and promoting a lifelong love of swimming.”

Lessons will have the same class length, age categories, class ratios, and price, but there will be an increased emphasis on water safety, Weber noted. The Y has developed a lesson selector to help parents determine the most appropriate class for their children. If needed, the Y will provide free evaluations by appointment. 

Registration begins Aug. 2, with classes starting Sept. 5. For more information, visit