The Kettle Moraine YMCA West Washington Branch was proud to partner with Casa Guadalupe Education Center to offer the Y’s Safety Around Water program. In Safety Around Water, kids learn what to do if they find themselves in the water unexpectedly. This program teaches children of all ages and from all backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared, as long as they know how to stay safe in and around water.
This eight-week program ran from June 14-August 2 with 14 participants ranging in ages 5-13. Children learned fundamental water safety skills that include what to look for in a safe place to swim and how to swim a short distance on their front, roll over onto their back to rest, and then roll on their front to continue swimming to safety.
Knowing how to be safe around water is one of the most important life skills we can teach our children. It gives them confidence. And it can save their lives. Every day, two kids die from drowning, making it the second leading cause of death for kids ages 5-14.
When asked to be a part of this program, Casa Guadalupe saw this as a great opportunity as their clients have expressed that some of their children do not know how to swim. Through the program, the kids are learning how to be safe in and around water, along with how to help a friend if they’re struggling in the water. Additionally, some of the parents do not know how to swim either, so they are learning alongside their children.
“The children that had a major fear of water are now slowly getting over their fear,” said Noelle Braun, Casa Guadalupe Executive Director. “They’re physically able to let go of the edge of the pool without thinking they’re going to drown, and they now know they can touch the bottom of the pool in certain areas without going under the water. They’re learning lifesaving safety rules.”
Casa Guadalupe is a non-profit organization based in West Bend, Wisconsin, that serves as the bridge of integration to Hispanics and the local community through education and community access. Casa Guadalupe Education Center works to empower Spanish-speaking Latino families to live independent, successful lives, to build strong families and establish meaningful connections within their community. For more information on Casa Guadalupe Education Center, please visit http://www.casaguadalupeonline.org/.
The Y is “America’s Swim Instructor” and the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming. Each year, the Y teaches more than one million children how to swim. For more information about this program, please visit ymca.net/watersafety or contact Vito Ward, Aquatics Director, at 262-247-1033 or firstname.lastname@example.org.