Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under fourteen. The Hunterdon County YMCA believes that all children should know how to swim and be safe in and around water. For this reason, the Y is offering a new 2nd Grade Learn to Swim Program at the Deer Path Branch Pool in Flemington, free of charge.

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 2nd Grade Learn to Swim, the Hunterdon County YMCA seeks to offer 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 new 2nd Grade Learn to Swim Program, all children in our community can learn these important safety skills,” said Flora Mannino, Aquatics Director.

2nd Grade Learn to Swim students will progress through a scientifically-based national YMCA curriculum that incorporates the following five components:

  • Personal Safety: Students learn to be safety conscious in and around water. The information forms the basis of accident prevention. Survival skills, self-rescue and boating safety are 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 through stroke techniques. Paddling skills, treading, floating, basic rescue skills and safety using lifejackets are among those 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 Hunterdon County YMCA is one of 22 Ys across that state that are official Make a Splash Local Partners. 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, contact Flora Mannino, Aquatics Director, 908-483-4924 or fmannino@hcymca.org.


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