James Family Prescott YMCA Keeping Kids Confident, Strong and Safe Around Water

In 1909, the YMCA launched a campaign to teach every man and boy in North America to swim. George Corsan of the Detroit YMCA created the concept of the group swimming lesson. Within four years, he had perfected his method and presented it to the national YMCA. “And it continues today at Ys across America and at your local Prescott YMCA,” said Damon Olsen, Prescott YMCA Executive Director. Why wait until summer to get children involved in swim lessons, lessons at the Prescott YMCA are year-round. As America’s Swim Instructor, the Y is the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming—teaching more than one million kids a year swimming and water safety skills.

YMCA Swim Lessons increase the accessibility and enjoyment of swimming to all ages and skill levels. The latest evolution of Y Swim Lessons accommodates varying abilities to help foster a sense of achievement as swimmers’ progress between levels. Through this approach, advanced swimmers flow more easily to higher levels while swimmers who need more instruction can learn at their own pace. This results in more confident swimmers who stick with lessons and develop a love for swimming that can last a lifetime.

“Swimming is not only a fun, healthy activity, but an important life skill for all children,” said Austin Olsen, Aquatics Coordinator, Prescott YMCA. “Learning basic water safety skills is a great introduction to the world of swimming that often continues with swim lessons and competitive swim programs and can even lead to a career.”

There are three general categories of Y Swim Lessons

  • Swim Starters develops water enrichment and aquatic readiness in children ages 6 months to 3 years. This category focuses on developing swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences. Parents also learn how to supervise children in the water, how to prevent accidents and how to plan for emergencies.
  • Swim Basics develops personal water safety and basic swimming skills in students of all ages. Swimmers develop a high level of comfort in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety and exit if they fall into a body of water.
  • Swim Strokes introduces and refines stroke technique in older students (school age, teens, and adults). Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being, and foster a lifetime of physical activity.

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 a million children from all backgrounds invaluable water safety and swim skills. Here in Prescott, the Y teaches over 4,000 swim lessons each year including youth group lessons, private lessons, parent child lessons, PUSD lessons, summer day camp and preschool lessons.

To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate, financial assistance is available to those in need to help cover the costs. Families interested in learning more about Y swim lessons and water safety classes should visit www.prescottymca.org or contact Austin Olsen at 928-445-7221.

About James Family Prescott YMCA

The James Family Prescott YMCA is a community within a community serving our diverse population in the quad-city area. As a leading nonprofit organization, the YMCA exists to strengthen the foundation of the community. The YMCA has served the local communities in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Dewey/Humboldt since 1974, offering over 60 health, wellness, and community programs within the four-building facility.

The YMCA is dedicated to providing affordable programs and services to benefit people of all incomes and backgrounds. Thanks to the generous support of those who donate to the Y’s Annual Campaign and other fundraising events, financial assistance is available to those who cannot afford the full fee and qualify for assistance.

The YMCA aims to provide each member with every opportunity to reach farther and improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility, the YMCA’s goal is to inspire positive and lasting social change. For more information visit www.prescottymca.org.

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