Safety Around Water

Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it is a necessity. The YMCA’s Safety Around Water program can help you make sure they learn essential water safety skills, which can open up a world of possibilities for them to satisfy their curiosity safely. At the YMCA of Greater Syracuse, programs like the Urban Swim Initiative help us bridge the gap in the delivery of swim lessons and water safety education in the U.S.—especially in underserved communities.

Swim Lessons

urban Swim initiative (Youth)

The YMCA is dedicated to helping all children grow up safe, happy and healthy. That's why we partnered with the Syracuse City School District and Say Yes to Education to create the Urban Swim Initiative.

The Urban Swim Initiative is designed to dramatically cut the number of swim-related fatalities among minorities.

Every summer, our lifeguards and instructors provide hands-on swim safety instruction in city pools to hundreds of Syracuse City School kids. Participants learn how to stay safe in and around the water.

Students who complete the program are equipped to make safe decisions in and around water. By working with others and reaching their own goals, they’ll be more confident and connected.

The Urban Swim Initiative changes lives and it saves lives.

Through the generosity of donors, we are able to ensure that all kids can enjoy the water. We collect and distribute hundreds of swimsuits to families in need.

To donate a swimsuit, or to learn more about the program, contact the Downtown YMCA at 474-6851.

Needs of the community

  • Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children.
  • Nearly 60% of minority children can’t swim.
  • Minority children are nearly three times more likely to drown than white children.
  • In Onondaga County, on average, two children drown and three more are treated for nearly drowning each year.