Y Teaches Kids Lifesaving Water Skills


Asheville, N.C., June 10, 2021 – Drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages 5-14. As the nation’s leading swim instructor, the YMCA is committed to giving kids the tools they need to prevent tragedy. This summer the Y is offering its free Safety Around Water program at two locations to teach children to protect themselves and others when they’re in and around pools, rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water.

“Horizons at Carolina Day has partnered with the YMCA to provide swim lessons to children from underserved communities since 2018,” said Monica Antonazzo, executive director of Horizons at Carolina Day School. “Learning to swim is a lifesaving skill that helps build confidence and safe risk-taking behaviors that transfer into improved performance in the classroom.”

Horizons participants’ six-week summer academic enrichment program includes field trips to the Reuter Family YMCA for the Safety Around Water program.

“Without the incredible support of the YMCA, we would not be able to offer such a rich and thorough swim program. We are so grateful for the Y staff's enthusiasm, generosity, and dedication to helping more children in Asheville experience the lifelong joy of swimming,” said Antonazzo.

Unlike traditional swim lessons, Safety Around Water focuses on teaching kids what to do if they find themselves in the water unexpectedly. They learn fundamental safety skills, including what to look for in a safe place to swim, how to swim a short distance on their front, how to roll over onto their back to rest, and then roll on their front to continue reaching safety.

The public is welcome to enroll in Safety Around Water classes June 14-18 and June 21-25 at Patton Pool in Hendersonville. Advance registration is required.

The Y also offers the program throughout the year in partnership with elementary schools in Buncombe, Henderson, and McDowell counties. Thanks to support from generous community donors, there is no charge to students and their families.

Visit ymcawnc.org/swimming to learn more about all Y swim programs. Financial assistance is available.