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February 13, 2020
It’s warming up outside and pretty soon kids and families will be diving into the bodies of water surrounding us here in Tampa Bay. But before you dip in, make sure you’re safe! The Y is the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming. In fact, did you know the Y introduced the country to the concept of group swim lessons more than 110 years ago?
As a leading voice on drowning prevention, the YMCAs of the Tampa Bay area and Florida Blue Foundation are teaming up again this year to save lives! Thanks to a generous $155,000 grant from the Florida Blue Foundation, Tampa Bay area children can receive free water safety and swim lessons at their local Y. Free Safety Around Water lessons start during the local school districts’ spring breaks.
In 2019, the collaborative effort taught nearly 8,000 kids water safety and swim lessons. This year’s grant expands the Y’s Safety Around Water program to more than 20 Y locations in the Tampa Bay area.
Thanks to the generosity of the Florida Blue Foundation, the program is free and open to all 3-12-year-old beginners and non-swimmers in the Tampa Bay community. During the 4-day course, certified instructors teach kids a sequenced set of skills that will reduce the risk of drowning and give them confidence in and around water. The following YMCAs are launching its free Safety Around Water sessions this spring:
You don’t have to be a Y member to participate in the free Safety Around Water program offered across five Y associations, including the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, YMCA of the Suncoast, YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg, Manatee Family YMCA and SKY Family YMCA. Times vary based on location and due to limited space, pre-registration is required. Be sure to contact the Y most convenient to you.
About the Author: As the senior communications director, Lalita Llerena oversees all internal and external communications for the Tampa YMCA and YMCA of the Suncoast. Before starting her public relations career, Lalita managed a 24-hour local TV news team as an executive producer. Prior to her nine years in the Tampa/St. Petersburg market, Lalita produced, reported and anchored for TV and radio outlets in Orlando and Gainesville. Lalita graduated with a communications degree from the University of Florida. She lives in Riverview with her husband, Danny, their daughter, Daniella, and son, Logan.