These past few months, third grade students have been back in the pool and learning to be as safe around water as they can be. Several area school districts participate in the YMCA Safety Around Water program throughout the school year and other participants learn water safety instruction through one of our many summer programs.

Currently, we are providing instruction to 136 third grade students. Some of these participants begin the program in Level 1 where they learn to be comfortable in the water, put their face in, and discuss proper safety techniques. Some of the students graduate to the highest level – these swimmers are comfortable in the water, know the basic safety rules, and are ready to swim.

All participants learn the Three Most Important Words: NEVER SWIM ALONE and the Four Big Words: REACH THROW DON’T GO. Students engage in five sessions; each session includes 50 minutes in the water and 50 minutes in the classroom learning about things like rip currents, beach safety, ice safety, pool safety, boating safety and more. Each student is provided with a Water Safety Instruction booklet for the classroom portion and the program includes pre-tests and post-tests both in the classroom and in the water to gauge student understanding.

The program is currently being held in partnership with the Muskegon Heights Academy and Muskegon Public Schools. 

For more information please visit:

If you would like your child’s school to participate, contact us.

Do you have a few extra hours in your week to help kids learn about water safety? Our Safety Around Water program is looking for instructors! Help us build a healthier future for Muskegon by equipping our kids with the skills they need to be confident and safe on our beautiful lakeshore: