Safety Around Water Swim Lessons
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Y Staff recently completed Safety Around Water (SAW) swim lessons for 72 second graders from the Edgemont Primary School.
Drowning poses a considerable risk for youth and adults, especially those from underserved populations. The statistics are sobering, but drowning deaths are preventable. At the Y, we believe everyone should have the chance to learn how to stay safe around water:
- Learning to be safe around water is a life skill. Today, fewer than half of all Americans say they know how to swim. The Safety Around Water program is designed to help change this reality.
- Learning to be safe around water builds a sense of achievement. Overcoming a fear of water and mastering skills in the pool build confidence and competence. Safety Around Water, like all Y programs, helps individuals reach their full potential.
Safety Around Water is an independent program designed to reach children at risk of drowning and teach them basic water safety skills, but the skills it develops overlap with those taught in the Swim Basics stage of YMCA Swim Lessons. Students who complete Safety Around Water are prepared to transition directly into swim lessons to continue the learning.
Stages of Learning
The goal of Safety Around Water is to teach students two benchmark skills: jump, push, turn, grab and swim, float, swim. The three stages of Safety Around Water are designed to accomplish this goal while also allowing staff to meet students where they are. If students have never been exposed to the water, they may need to begin with the skills outlined in the Beginner stage. If students are able to perform the benchmark skills during the initial assessment, further skill development is encouraged, using the skills outlined in the Advanced stage.
With funding from YUSA, this program is provided for second graders in the Alleghany County Public Schools and Covington City Public Schools systems. Additional funding is needed to support this program on an on-going basis. Please contact Jennifer Unroe at (540) 862-8677 to learn how you can help prevent drownings and instill a love of swimming!