By: Kristen McConnell—
Muncie, IN— During Muncie Community Schools Spring Break, the YMCA of Muncie will offer Safety Around Water, a free program designed to engage and educate parents about the importance of water safety skills and provide more of America’s youth access to water safety lessons. The program focuses on reaching underserved communities with a special emphasis on African American and Hispanic communities, where risk of drowning among children is highest.
According to a 2017 national research study conducted by the USA Swimming Foundation with the University of Memphis and University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 64 percent of African American children cannot swim, compared to 45 percent of Hispanic children and 40 percent of Caucasian children. Additionally, 79 percent of children in families with household income less than $50,000 have no/low swimming ability.
Through Safety Around Water, parents and caregivers are encouraged to help their children learn fundamental water safety and swimming skills. During the five-day course, children will learn how to respond if they find themselves in unexpected water situations—from how to reach the water’s surface if they submerge to safely reaching a pool’s edge or exiting any body of water.
“For generations, staying safe around water meant keeping kids away from water, but it’s time to start a new tradition by learning basic water safety skills,” said Chad Zaucha, CEO of the YMCA of Muncie. “Safety Around Water is a great starting point to not only get kids comfortable in the water, but also teach their parents the importance of developing water safety skills.”
The Y introduced the concept of group swim lessons in 1909. Now, each year in more than 2,000 pools across the country, the Y teaches more than one million children from all backgrounds invaluable water safety and swim skills. Here in Muncie and Delaware County the Y teaches children water safety and swimming each year. Through Safety Around Water, the Y hopes to further bridge cultural and access gaps that can prevent some children from learning important water safety skills.
Families interested in learning more about Safety Around Water and how to enroll their child in swimming and water safety classes should visit muncieymca.org.
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading non-profits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Muncie has served Delaware and Kosciusko Counties since 1881, with an excellent track record of providing quality mission driven programs that enrich the lives of all people in spirit, mind and body.
In 2018 the YMCA served more than 16,000 unduplicated men, women and children while providing more than $458,000 in financial assistance to ensure everyone has access to life changing YMCA programs. Visit the Y online at www.muncieymca.org or on Facebook @YMCA of Muncie.