Free Swimming Lessons Build Confidence & Skills

Brian Lee Memorial Learn to Swim Program

The YMCA, in partnership with the City of Erie, will offer free swimming lessons to children living in the City of Erie. Registration opens Monday, May 23 at 7 a.m.

The Brian Lee Crosby Memorial Learn to Swim program is funded through the City of Erie’s Parks & Recreation Program and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“There is a list of basic life skills all parents instinctively know they must teach their children to keep them safe and healthy. It includes habits like looking both ways before you cross the street, washing your hands with soap and water and eating the right amount of fruits and vegetables every day,” says Kelly Austin, YMCA of Greater Erie aquatics director. “For too many parents, safety in and around water is not on the list; and that’s something we need to change.”

With fatal drowning as the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14 years-old, the problem is particularly acute among minority communities. African American children ages 5 to 14 are three times more likely to drown than their white counterparts. The disparity is partly due to the lack of swimming experience among these children.

Registration for swimming lessons opens Monday, May 23 and the first session of lessons begins June 20. City of Erie residents must register in person at the Downtown YMCA, 31 West 10th Street and proof of residence must be presented at time of registration.

Austin reminds parents of the importance of consistent attendance for the entire course. “The skills gained through these swim lessons can last a life time.   For the child to maximize the benefits of this swim session, regular attendance is most important.  Full participation is expected during each 30-minute lesson.  Attendance will be closely monitored.”

Lessons will be offered at the pools at the Downtown YMCA and Rodger Young Park.

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