Community YMCA swim instructor Casey Mansfield (above right) helped third graders from Red Bank schools feels safe and comfortable in the water, including Madeline Ortiz-Morales of Red Bank Primary School (above) and Christopher Hernandez of Red Bank Charter School (below).
Press release from The Community YMCA
Third grade students of Red Bank Primary School and Red Bank Charter School gained valuable swimming and water safety skills in the annual Third Grade Swim program, presented by The Community YMCA.
The water safety initiative, which concluded this week, was developed to give all third graders the opportunity for no-cost swimming and water safety lessons as part of their school day. The Third Grade Swim program began in 2011, and has helped approximately 600 children learn how to be safe in and around water. This year’s program included four 45-minute swim lessons covering basic stroke development, paddling, treading and floating skills.
“The Y is committed to nurturing the potential of all children and giving them opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive,” said CYMCA President and CEO Rhonda Anderson. “Basic swimming and water safety are important lifelong skills and essential for children in our Shore area.”
Senior Aquatics Director Jaimie Hinshelwood said about 70 percent of the 141 third graders completing the program had little or no swim skills when they began the program. However, after completing the four swim lessons “One hundred percent have strong water safety knowledge and are able to paddle on their own with no flotation device.”
Red Bank Primary Principal Luigi Laugelli said the district “is grateful for the opportunity of third graders to learn how to swim and to be aware of how to be safe in and around the water.”
“The Red Bank Charter School community is grateful for the water safety program and all the opportunities the Y has provided our children to strengthen our focus on healthy lifestyles,” said Red Bank Charter School Principal Meredith Pennotti.
The third graders will have the chance to continue to practice their swimming skills at the Y this summer as part of their free Healthy Kids Membership, which The Community YMCA provides to all Red Bank children in grades Pre-K to 8.