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YMCA Scholarships will Promote Water Safety Among Local Youth

The Y Helps Pawtucket and Woonsocket Children Learn to be Safe Around Water

May is National Water Safety Month and the YMCA of Pawtucket is increasing availability of water safety and swim lessons in underserved communities.

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (May 10, 2018)– As part of the Y’s commitment to reduce drowning rates and keep kids safe in and around the water, the YMCA of Pawtucket will provide scholarships for swim instruction and water safety to children from underserved communities in Pawtucket and Woonsocket.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages one to 14. A study conducted in 2011 by USA Swimming found that in ethnically diverse communities, the youth drowning rate is two to three times higher than the national average. Additionally, nearly six out of 10 African American and Hispanic/Latino children are unable to swim, nearly twice as many as their Caucasian counterparts.

“Educating children about how to be safe around water is just as important as teaching them to look both ways before they cross the street,” said Jeanine Achin, Chief Operating Officer of the YMCA of Pawtucket. “The Y teaches children of all ages and backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared, and this practice not only saves lives, it builds confidence.”

The Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for over 125 years. The YMCA of Pawtucket continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water. There are a variety of programs to choose from, including private swim lessons, adult lessons, swim team and swim club, and lifeguarding classes.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, children can increase their physical activity by swimming. Swimming also motivates childrens to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem. It teaches the life lessons of sport and sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches and how to deal with winning and losing—skills that last a lifetime.

To learn how to qualify for financial assistance, please contact Sean Cassidy, Senior Program Director, Family YMCA, at 401-727-7900, or Kristin Quinn, Operations Director, Woonsocket YMCA at 401-769-0791.

About the YMCA of Pawtucket

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. The YMCA of Pawtucket is comprised of five branches across the state: Pawtucket Family YMCA and Heritage Park YMCA Early Learning Center in Pawtucket, MacColl YMCA in Lincoln, Westwood YMCA in Coventry and Woonsocket YMCA.

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