Grant supports efforts to offer free or reduced-cost swim lessons
[Muskegon, MI}– Safety Around Water for Muskegon area third grade students was chosen as one of 102 youth programs from the USA Swimming Foundation’s nationwide network of swim lesson providers to receive grant money in 2022. The grant award will go toward the Muskegon YMCA’s water safety program and continued efforts to provide free or reduced-cost swim lessons to area families. The program serves third grade students throughout the school year and families during the summer months.
“The funding from this grant will help subsidize several classrooms of Muskegon County third graders” said Andi Switzer, Program Director, Muskegon YMCA. “We’re getting even closer to our goal of providing water safety instruction to every third grader, every year!” she added.
Having easy access to clean and fabulous water resources should instill community responsibility for using it safely. The Muskegon Y takes this responsibility seriously. The Safety Around Water (SAW) Program, originally developed by YMCA of the USA, is the foundation for the Muskegon YMCA water safety program, focused on keeping kids safe. Beach safety, ice safety, life jackets, and other local enhancements make this relevant to the Muskegon area.
Other than traffic accidents, drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death for children. For minority children, the risk is 10 times higher. The Muskegon YMCA continues to reach out to school districts not currently involved in the program to encourage participation during the school year program with the goal to reach 100% of area third grade students every year.
The summer program includes parents/guardians who also need to learn to swim. The Muskegon YMCA partners with the Muskegon Heights Academy Public School System and Muskegon Public Schools to provide the year round water safety and instruction program. Consequently, the program goes beyond 3rd graders and potentially reaches every demographic of the community.
For a full list of 2022 USA Swimming Foundation grant recipients or to donate to the Foundation, please visit www.usaswimming.org/foundation.