YMCA offers free swim lessons for elementary school students
JACKSON, MI — Gym members trickle in and out of the YMCA at 127 W. Wesley St., as the sun makes its way over the building, casting blue shadows on the empty and quiet sidewalk.A soft murmur can be heard in the distance, growing louder and louder as the students make their way towards the building. Soon, a line of second graders fill the sidewalk, eyes growing bigger as they jump and clap with excitement, chanting, ‘Y.M.C.A.!!!, Y.M.C.A.!!!’. ADVERTISINGinRead invented by TeadsStudents from Bennett Elementary School, McCulloch Academy, and a group of students who are homeschooled received free swim lessons through the YMCA during the month of October and part of November. The YMCA received the Michigan Health Endowment Fund through the State Alliance of Michigan YMCA.Through the grant-funded program, the YMCA offered free swim lessons for the students while also providing bathing suits, towels, and transportation.With the help of six volunteers and three staff members, the YMCA provides meaningful and important swim lessons for the students. “This program has the potential to end a multigenerational culture of not swimming and fear of water,” said Aquatics Director Brecken Enright.”If these kids learn to swim they will be able to be more safe around water and will have the ability to teach their kids to swim when they grow up. We are giving these kids great memories to associate with being in the water,” Enright said.Kathy Fish has noticed an increase in attendance for her second grade class from Bennett Elementary School, attributing it to the excitement the kids have for their swim lessons. Some students were apprehensive at first while others eagerly splashed and kicked their way around the pool, making improvements each week.”They are so excited, they love it. Whenever you finish [a lesson] you’re in a good mood, even though it’s hectic,” Enright said.