Safety Around Water Begins this Month!

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Safety Around Water Begins this Month!

Safety Around Water Begins this Month!

By Jean Bowick

When Cullen Jones was only five years old, he almost drowned at a water park. Like many of the kids from his neighborhood, he couldn’t swim. But his mother was determined to change that. She did a mighty fine job. Today Jones is an Olympic gold medalist – and only the second African-American swimmer in history to set a world record. He’s also part of a greater mission: teaching kids across America how to swim. His efforts are yielding tremendous, potentially life-saving results for millions of kids lacking any basic water safety skills.

An alarming study of drowning statistics in the U.S. (referenced in an article by NBCNews.com) revealed that 70% of African-American children cannot swim, and 60% of Hispanic/Latino children cannot swim. These are shocking numbers. The YMCA of Greater Birmingham is committed to teaching fundamental swimming and water safety skills to adults and kids throughout the Birmingham community. That’s why the YMCA Youth Center is giving FREE Water Safety classes in June and July as part of our 2017 Summer Water Safety Program.

In five 30-minute sessions, participants will learn how to approach the water, how to go beneath the water and return to the surface, and how to safely reach the edge of a pool. Instructors will also teach basic swimming strokes, proper breathing techniques, and how to exit the water safely. These FREE classes could save the life of you or someone in your family!

To view this summer’s class schedule and learn more about our Safety Around Water program, visit ymcabham.org/watersafety. Registration is Thursday, June 15, 6-7 p.m. at the YMCA Youth Center, 2400 7th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203.

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