Free swim lessons at Athol YMCA

  • Lucy Life Guard (aka Bonnie Benjamin) will instruct children on water safety during free swimming lessons June 18-21 at the Athol Area YMCA. Submitted Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 6/9/2019 11:17:21 AM
Modified: 6/13/2019 10:29:17 AM

ATHOL –  For its sixth year, the Athol Area YMCA is offering four days of free swim lessons for children from kindergarten age to second grade. The lessons, which will run June 18 through June 21, are funded by a grant from the Athol Royalston Education Foundation.

One of the lessons will include a water safety class with parents and will demonstrate what to do if they find a child unresponsive in the water. According to Dee Bulman, Aquatic Coordinator at the YMCA, the lessons will cover “a lot of water and sun safety for kids.” There will be water exercises and a special showing of WHALE Tales from the American Red Cross which raises children’s awareness of safe behavior in, on and around the water.

Before the video is shown, Bonnie Benjamin (as Lucy Life Guard) will show the children how to put on a life jacket and discuss water safety, after which snacks will be provided.

For children who are afraid of getting in the water, Bulman said “our big goal is to get them comfortable.” The students are taught how to float on their backs, to always tell an adult before going into the water and to never go near water unless there’s a lifeguard.

Bulman said that the Army Corps of Engineers donated Frisbees, reusable shopping bags, coloring books, golf towels, stickers and tattoos for prizes.

Eight or nine experienced instructors will be donating their time that week, Bulman said. There will be three 45-minute lessons; 1-1:45 p.m., 1:45-2:30 p.m., and 2:30-3:15 p.m.

To register, call 978-249-3305 or sign up at the YMCA front desk, 545 Main St.

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