Let the Y teach your children how to swim

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Photo above: Summer camp kids participating in swim lessons through offsite camps based at the Penn Center.

As part of the Y’s commitment to reduce drowning rates and keep kids safe in and around the water, the YMCA of Beaufort County will provide scholarships for swim instruction and water safety to children from underserved communities in northern Beaufort County.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages one to 14 years old. In ethnically diverse communities, the youth drowning rate is two to three times higher than the national average, according to a USA Swimming study. Additionally nearly six out of 10 African American and Hispanic/Latino children are unable to swim, nearly twice as many as their Caucasian counterparts.

“Educating children how to be safe around water is just as important as teaching them to look both ways before they cross the street,” said Lisa Redwine, Aquatics & Sport Director, YMCA of Beaufort County. “The Y teaches children of all ages and backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared, and this practice not only saves lives it builds confidence.”

The Beaufort Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for almost 20 years. There are a variety of programs to choose from, including Learn To Swim, part of our traditional summer camp program both here at the Y Port Royal facility as well as administered through our offsite camps based at Penn Center, Lady’s Island Elementary, Hardeeville Elementary and Ridgeland Elementary in Jasper County; individual and group swim lessons; and our competitive youth swim team, the Tigersharks.

The Y will be accepting registrations for Fall swim lessons starting in August. This includes parent/child lessons for children age 6 months to 3 years, evening lessons in age appropriate groups (ages 3 and up) and private swim lessons are available.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, children can increase their physical activity by swimming. 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—skills that last a lifetime.

To register for swim lessons stop by the Y located at 1801 Richmond Avenue in Port Royal or go online to www.ymcabeaufortcounty.com. To learn how to qualify for financial assistance, please call 843-522-9622.