YMCAs in Scottsdale join Valley swimming safety effort

The Valley of the Sun YMCA is offering free swim lessons next week at 13 branches. (Submitted photo)

The Valley of the Sun YMCA will offer free swim lessons to the first 1,600 registrants at 13 Valley of the Sun YMCA branches the week of May 21-25.

Registration has begun and must be done in person at a local Y branch. Lessons are open to non-swimmers from 6 months of age to adults.

The Scottsdale/Paradise Valley Family YMCA is at 6869 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, and the Desert Foothills Family YMCA is at 34250 N. 60th St., Scottsdale.

Two YMCAs in Scottsdale are part of the swimming safety effort. (Submitted photo)

The free swim lessons are part of the Y’s Safety Around Water program, “which is designed to engage and educate parents about the importance of water safety skills and provide more of America’s youth access to water safety lessons,” according to a release announcing the program, which takes place as part of National Water Safety Month.

Arizona is among the states with the highest rate of drowning deaths in the country. However, research shows that participation in formal water safety and swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children 1-4 years of age by as much as 88 percent, according to the release.

“For generations, staying safe around water meant keeping kids away from water, but it’s time to start a new family tradition by learning basic water safety skills,” stated Bryan Madden, president and CEO of Valley of the Sun YMCA. “Safety Around Water is a great starting point to not only get kids comfortable in the water but also teach their parents the importance of developing water safety skills.”

Each year in more than 2,000 pools across the country, the Y teaches more than 1 million children water safety and swim skills. In the Valley, the Y provided swim lessons to more than 3,000 children and adults last year, according to the organization.

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