The Y Helps Children in the Greater Montclair Community Learn to be Safe Around Water

MONTCLAIR — As part of the Y’s commitment to reduce drowning rates and keep kids safe in and around the water, the YMCA of Montclair will provide Safety Around Water, a swim instruction and water safety program to children ages 4-6 June 21-25 and ages 7-14 June 28-July 2.

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. For communities of color, the youth drowning rate is two to three times higher than the national average, according to a USA Swimming study.

“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 Tammy Como, Association Aquatics Director, YMCA of Montclair. “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 believes this is especially true following 2020’s COVID-19 shutdowns. In a typical year, the YMCA of Montclair teaches 10,000 in their swim programs — this decreased to 1,000 in 2020. There are children in the community who are at risk due to the lack of opportunity for swim lessons caused by the pandemic. The Y wants to make every effort to reach those kids this year. The Y follows all aquatic COVID-19 protocols to maximize safety when swim lessons are conducted.

The Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for more than 100 years. The YMCA of Montclair continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident, and secure in the water.

The Safety Around Water program has been funded by generous grants from the Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation and the YMCA of the USA’s Strategic Initiatives.

For more information, contact Tammy Como, Association Aquatics Director at tcomo@montclairymca.org. To register for Safety Around Water classes, visit www.montclairymca.org/safety-around-water/. There is a nominal fee of $5 for the weeklong lessons.

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