YMCA to Offer Swim Lesson Scholarships

As part of the Y’s commitment to reduce drowning rates and keep kids safe in and around the water, the YMCA of Rock River Valley will provide scholarships for swim instruction and water safety to children from underserved communities in the Rock River Valley area. 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 64 percent of African-American children, 45 percent of Latino children, and 40 percent of Caucasian children have no or low swimming ability. 

“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 Jamie Lowery, Association Aquatics Director, YMCA of Rock River Valley. “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 Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for more than 50 years.  The Y continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water. 

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. 

Families who earn less than $50,000 annually qualify for the scholarship, which provides 8 weeks of swim lessons. Stop in to our SwedishAmerican Riverfront YMCA or Northeast Family YMCA to learn more and apply. Must have proof of income. Lessons begin August 26 and we will accept applications through August 31. If you have further questions, please contact Jamie Lowery at 815-885-6831 or Kristina Hitzke at 815-489-3360.

Click here to learn more about YMCA swim lesson levels.