Stew Leonard III Children’s Charity and the Middletown Health Department have teamed with the YMCA to save children’s lives by teaching low income, minority children how to swim. The YMCA and these great organizations recognize that learning to swim is a life saving skill. We also understand barriers such as poverty and a family history of fear for the water significantly increases the risk of accidental drowning. Grant funding from Stew Leonard III Children’s Charity and the Middletown Health Department will assure that 80 children at greatest risk for accidental drowning will have access to YMCA swim instruction.
The grant funding has thus far provided 33 children with swim instruction. Additional children will be selected and scholarships will be offered during winter, spring and summer swim sessions. The Y plans to work in collaboration with NEAT, Green Street, elementary schools, and other community partners to reach children who meet the scholarship qualifications and currently do not have a relationship with the YMCA.
The Middlesex Y is committed to teaching both children and adults how to swim and we believe strongly in the life saving and life enhancing benefits of the water. Our hope is to expand our reach from serving 80 children to 150 children through grants and a successful Community Support Campaign that identifies swim instruction as a community need and benefit.