Lincoln YMCA’s holding swimsuit drive to support youth swim lessons

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 7:52 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Community Learning Centers in Lincoln are emphasizing the importance of swimming safety among children through their summer programs.

According to the CDC, two children 14 and under die from unintentional drowning a day. According to that same study, for every child that dies another five receive emergency care for non-fatal injuries.

Experts said access to swim lessons is normally a big issue for children, which often leads to these tragedies.

Here in Lincoln, summer programs are being created to educate children on swim safety and prevent these accidents from happening.

“We use the YMCA of USA swim curriculum, which really teaches the basics of water safety to start out, which is swim-float-swim. Teaching them to flip to the back and kick to safety. We also teach kids that it is really important to ask permission before getting into the water and always hear a response from an adult,” said Aquatics Director, Tabetha Burnham.

Kindergarten through fifth grade is the age group tailored for these programs, but the YMCA does offer lessons for all ages.

The YMCA of Lincoln is holding a community wide swimsuit drive until May 23, collecting new and gently used swimsuits for children that will be taking these swim lessons. Donors can drop off swimsuits at any of the four Lincoln YMCA locations and suits are needed for boys and girls. Summer program swim lessons will begin June 1.

“We really need to collect some more swimsuits, we would like to provide every kid in the program a new swimsuit this summer. The need has been high and has always been high. We have partnered with some other grant groups that are not available this summer to provide some of those suits for the kids, so we would really like to be able to give every child a suit this year,” said Burnham.

Burnham said lack of access to swim suits is one of the biggest barriers for children attending these swim programs.

The swim program will serve roughly 140 Lincoln youth and the YMCA is accepting sizes XS-XL at all Lincoln YMCA locations. More information on the swimsuit drive can be found here.

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