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Social Responsibility - Drowning Prevention


At the Y, we believe a child’s safety in and around water should never be left to chance. We’re determined to prevent childhood drowning by providing high-quality water safety instruction and swim lessons for all kids.

Continuing Our Legacy

The Y is “America’s Swim Instructor” and the most accessible community resource to not only prevent drowning, but also encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming. We first introduced the country to the concept of group swim lessons more than 100 years ago in 1909, and today we teach more than a million children invaluable water safety and swimming skills.

Teaching Water Safety to All

As one of the largest community-based organizations in the country, the Y is in a unique position to help bridge the gap in the delivery of swim lessons and water safety education in the U.S. — especially in underserved communities where the risk of drowning is greatest. In fact, research finds two primary factors for children not learning to swim: the parent’s ability and their attitude toward swimming, and the socio-economic conditions of the child’s community. At the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, we don’t just provide access to our programs for those who request it, we go into underserved communities where there are often no lifeguards at community pools as an outreach to teach water safety skills.

Surviving and Thriving in Water

Through our Safety Around Water program and traditional swim lessons, we help ensure all kids have access to learn essential water safety skills and gain confidence in and around water. These Y programs open up a world of possibilities for children to safely enjoy and explore their curiosity for water.

Drowning Prevention
For Social Responsibility

Lifeguard Training

With the current lifeguard shortage across the nation, the Y is committed to training lifeguards with the skills to save lives. Our comprehensive course, for ages 16 and up, focuses on water rescue, safety and prepares lifeguards to anticipate and prevent danger in and around water. Certification includes 27.5 hours of training in the pool or classroom, plus additional online learning.

Successful completion of our Lifeguard Training qualifies participants to work at our aquatics facilities or pools in the community as a certified lifeguard.

Safety Around Water

This free water safety outreach program powered by the Y engages low-income youth living in local apartment communities where pools are often without lifeguards. Certified YMCA swim instructors and lifeguards educate young residents about water safety issues through instruction and building awareness.

Safety Around Water gives children at greatest risk the opportunity to learn basic water safety and swimming skills that help prevent drowning.

Swim Lessons

Swimming is a life skill as well as great exercise and a challenging sport. Our Ys offer swim lessons for all ages, family swim, competitive swimming and diving teams, and many kinds of adaptive swim programs for kids with special needs. Our mission is to ensure we can all safely enjoy the pleasures of an aquatic environment.

Throughout all stages of instruction, our swim lessons programs teach students how to be safer and more comfortable in the water.