YMCA Launches New Swim Lesson Curriculum

The YMCA of Rock River Valley in conjunction with YMCA of the USA is launching an upgrade to its swim lessons. The Y is America’s swim instructor. As such, we consider it a priority, and a responsibility, to prevent drowning and improve health outcomes through swimming. 

The statistics are still very concerning for youth. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death among children aged 1-4 years and one of the top three causes among persons under age 29. Furthermore, safekids.org reports 60% of youth drowning incidents occur within 10 feet of safety. 

The Y’s new curriculum is built from extensive research, consisting of surveys, interviews, expert panels, and focus groups, into the needs and priorities of the Y Movement. The skill-based approach is designed to meet the needs of students in variety of ways: 
•    It welcomes students of varying and diverse abilities, ensuring everyone feels like they belong. 
•    It fosters a sense of achievement from the start. 
•    It emphasizes group activities that encourage relationship building. 
•    It is grounded in a skill continuum that allows students to flow easily from one skill to the next, with clearly defined stages of progress along the way. 

“The pool is a place where communities come together and bridges are built,” said Jenny Salberg, YMCA Aquatics Director. “The new curriculum fosters connections among people of all backgrounds and meets them where they are. We have streamlined the levels to increase engagement and make it easier for families to understand the process of learning to swim.” 

Previously, the swim levels were labeled according to fish categories (i.e. Pike, Eel, Shark, etc.), which could be confusing for families to know what the next level would be for their student. The new levels are clearly defined in a number sequence and grouped according to age.

The Y launches its new curriculum for the Spring 2 program session, which runs April 24 to May 28. For more information about YMCA swim lessons or to register, click here.