YMCA gives swimming lessons for kids
CAMBRIDGE — The Dorchester Family YMCA in Cambridge gave 21 children swimming lessons in July and August.
When Dorchester Family YMCA Board Member Dr. MaryAnn Moore wanted the YMCA to reach out to children who may not be able to afford swim lessons, a partnership was formed.
The children came from the New Beginnings program and were bused over once a week by the YMCA.
Numerous volunteers, including some Cambridge City Police, taught the children the skills they need in the water at the YMCA. The volunteers come from all walks of life but are united in their passion for aquatics and safety.
The YMCA has been involved in this type of class before. Every May, the YMCA teaches third graders water safety.
Dorchester YMCA Aquatics Director Barbara Wheatley said the new program, Swim for Life, focuses on how to respond if a youth or a friend finds themselves in a position in the water where they are not safe. She said also floating in the water, dog paddling and keeping their heads above the water are taught.
Wheatley said her favorite part of teaching swimming is watching the joy on someone’s face when they realize they can do something they once thought impossible. She said conquering fear is great for self-esteem and is uplifting for all involved. She said the YMCA hopes to extend the program and teach even more kids in the near future.
The Dorchester YMCA in Cambridge gave swimming lessons to 21 children in July and August.