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YMCA, CB Schools Collaborate in Swim Initiative


2nd-3ROn Sunday, May 21, Central Bucks Family YMCA and Central Bucks School District completed their first 2nd Grade Initiative collaboration, a water safety program that tests children in basic water safety and provides free water safety lessons and a free month-long youth membership to those who qualify.

Between October 2016 and March 2017, approximately 1,056 2nd grade students from all of the Central Bucks School District elementary schools were transported to either Central Bucks High School South or Central Bucks Family YMCA for a half day program aimed at testing all students on their safety in and around water. The program also included a fitness activity and teacher-led classroom activity.

During the in-water testing, students were evaluated in alignment with the Y-USA Safety Around Water rubric. Youth qualified for the next phase of the program based on their ability to enter the pool, to tread and pull into a float position, to use their arms for forward motion on their front and back and get themselves safely to the wall. Of the 337 students who qualified to receive free lessons, over 100 registered for the free water safety lessons totaling about 33% of those who qualified. The final group of 2nd graders received their lessons in May.

2nd-1RThe 7-and-8 year olds who qualified for the lessons met weekly with specific goals for graduation including treading water for 10 seconds, swimming 10 yards using their arms and getting into and holding a back float position for 20 seconds. During the classes, children were taught to be safety conscious around water. The lessons were provided free to the youth who qualified.

The program was partially funded by Bucks County Orthodontics, who provided a $7,500 sponsorship to pay for in-pool evaluators, safety lessons instructors and a 2nd-1commemorative tote bag for each child.  “As a parent of two young children, I was immediately moved to support the Y’s 2nd Grade Swim Initiative as I believe firmly that the water safety skills that are taught in this program are vital for the continued health and safety of our youth,” says the Program’s Premier Sponsor, Todd M. Welsh, DMD of Bucks County Orthodontics in Doylestown.

To find out more about the 2nd grade Initiative Program, contact Ashley Coticchio at 215.348.8131, x1409 or acoticchio@cbfymca.org.