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January 24, 2014

YMCA offers swimming lessons for preschoolers

THOMASVILLE — Preschoolers in Thomas County are putting on their swimming gear and heading to the YMCA pool to prepare themselves for summer swimming.

As part of the YMCA’s many programs on education and safety, it is now offering swimming lessons to Thomasville and Thomas County preschoolers.

Many young preschoolers may never have been exposed to great amounts of water and tend to be skeptical about making the plunge, but according to Tom Everett, the CEO of Thomasville YMCA, the kids learn fairly quickly and get much of the anxiety of the water.

He said, “By the end of the eighth lesson, you typically see children that are much more confident around water and much more stable in their swimming lessons.”

Certified lifeguards are in the water at all times with the kids as they take turns working one-on-one with the preschoolers. They take the time to teach the kids how to float, hold their breath and eventually how to kick and swim by themselves.

All of the skills taught to the preschoolers during swimming lessons are critical in drowning prevention strategies, while building lifelong skills.

“Teaching children swimming skills is an effective long-term drowning prevention strategy and like other athletic activities, builds self-confidence and self-esteem. The program helps kids gain a healthy respect for the water which will make them safer in the long run,” said Everett.

The YMCA predicts they will train around 350 preschoolers in the community over the next three months. For more information on how to get children involved in the YMCA’s program, visit www.ymca-thomasville.org.

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