YMCA focuses on swimming lessons, water safety courses


The Harrison family YMCA is offering water safety education and swimming lessons this summer.


From Contributed Reports

Sunday, May 20, 2018

As the season turns to hotter weather, the Harrison Family YMCA encourages children and parents in Nash and Edgecombe counties to explore the many benefits of swimming while also keeping safety top of mind.

In YMCA swimming programs, participants can enjoy water sports, enhance or learn new techniques, meet new friends and develop confidence while also learning safety skills that can save lives.

Thanks to recent funding from the Pfizer Community Grant and the Michael Phelps Foundation, the Y is able to partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tar River Region and Peacemaker’s Freedom School programs this summer to offer water safety education and swimming lessons to the kids in their programs. This is a really exciting time, with May as National Water Safety Month.

“It’s never too early to get children involved in swimming — it’s important for safety reasons, but also a great way to keep active and healthy,” said Jacquelyn Price, Harrison Family YMCA CEO. “There are so many options for parents, but the best place to start is by learning basic water safety skills that helps get kids familiar with the water that often continues with swim lessons and competitive swim programs and can even lead to a career.”

As part of National Water Safety Month in May, the YMCA is offering the community a free pair of goggles or a beach mat tote to all who join as a member through the end of May. The YMCA also encourages parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming — beginning with water safety.

Safety tips to practice when in and around the water include:

■ Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone

■ Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.

■ Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

■ Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.

■ Children and adults should not engage in breath-holding activities.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, swimming is a great way to increase physical activity. Swimming also motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem. It also teaches life lessons of sport and sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches and how to deal with winning and losing.

As a leading nonprofit agency committed to youth development, the YMCA has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for many years. The Harrison Family YMCA continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water. There are a variety of programs to choose, including open swim time for members, a swim team, water fitness classes, lifeguard training and private and group swim lessons for all ages. To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate, financial assistance is available to those in need to help cover the costs.

To learn more about the Harrison Family YMCA’s swim programs, call 252-972-9622 or visit harrisonfamilyY.org.