As America’s Swim Instructor, the YMCA is both a national champion and a key local community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming by teaching swimming and water safety skills. The latest evolution of Y Swim Lessons accommodates varying abilities to help foster a sense of achievement as swimmers’ progress between levels. Through this approach, advanced swimmers flow more easily to higher levels while swimmers who need more instruction can learn at their own pace. This results in more confident swimmers who stick with lessons and develop a love for swimming that can last a lifetime.

The Westfield Area YMCA has launched the new curriculum for the Fall 1 session.  “Swim lessons should be rite of passage for every child.  We help kids stay safe in and around the water while developing a life-long love of swimming,” said Rob Faggiano, Westfield Area YMCA Aquatics Director. “We teach approximately 1,100 children every 8-week session at our Y, and this new curriculum really encourages our students to progress at their own pace while building the confidence needed to become successful swimmers.”

There are three general categories of Y Swim Lessons with two or three stages within each level.

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• SWIM STARTERS develops water enrichment and aquatic readiness in children ages 6 months to 3 years. This category focuses on developing swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences. Parents also learn how to supervise children in the water, how to prevent accidents and how to plan for emergencies.

• SWIM BASICS develops personal water safety and basic swimming skills in students of all ages. Swimmers develop a high level of comfort in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety and exit if they fall into a body of water.

• SWIM STROKES introduces and refines stroke technique in older students. Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being and foster a lifetime of physical activity.

The Westfield Area YMCA offers the new swim lesson curriculum for infants and toddlers, youth, teens, adults and individuals with special needs. Students previously enrolled in swim lessons can receive assistance finding their new swim class at the Welcome Center or on the website.  New and current students are welcome to attend a free swim level assessment at the following dates and times with no registration required: Aug. 2 at 5 p.m., Aug. 13 at 11:30 a.m., Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. or Aug. 19 at 3 p.m.

Fall 1 session is Sept. 5 – Oct. 28. Registration begins 6 p.m. Aug. 10 for Full Members. Register online or at www.westfieldynj.org or at the Main Y Facility Welcome Center located at 220 Clark Street, Westfield. The Welcome Center can be reached at 908-301-9622 (YMCA).