Montecito Family YMCA to offer water safety courses to Cleveland Elementary 3rd-graders

Staff report

August 3, 2009 7:36 AM

The Montecito Family YMCA is offering a series of water safety classes to prevent drowning starting Aug. 25 for third-grade students at Cleveland Elementary School. With drowning the second-leading cause of injury death among school-age children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the classes are a good way for kids to learn to be safe around water. according to a news release

The YMCA, Easy Lift and Cleveland school have collaborated to provide swim lessons to all third-grade students at the school, which is located at 123 Alameda Padre Serra.The four-week sessions are slated to begin Aug. 25th and run through May 6 at the Montecito Y, 591 Santa Rosa Lane. Transportation for the students will be provided by Easy Lift Transportation. Easy Lift is a non-profit, charitable organization established to provide curbside-to-curbside “Dial-A-Ride” type transportation to senior citizens and people with disabilities in south Santa Barbara County who cannot use regular bus service.

According to the news release, YMCAs have been teaching people to swim for more than a century. In Y aquatics programs, children learn to be safe around water and they feel the sense of accomplishment that comes with learning something new. Youth progressive swimming is the organization’s third most widely offered program nationwide. It uses a problem-solving, guided-discovery teaching approach in a positive environment, according to the release.
In addition to teaching millions of Americans to swim, the YMCA movement has had a huge impact on swimming instruction and aquatics programming in general. In the early 1900s, the YMCA encouraged the Red Cross to include lifesaving instruction in its disaster and wartime services programs.

Providing introductory and advanced swimming, water fitness classes and competitive swimming programs for youth and adults, YMCAs are widely recognized as America’s leading resource in aquatics, according to the release. At a local Y, children and adults learn not only how to swim, but also about leadership, safety and rescue skills and water activities that can be enjoyed for a lifetime, according to the release.

The Montecito facility is a branch of the Channel Islands YMCA, one of seven branches serving Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The organization offers programs to over 44,000 individuals on the Central Coast each year. For more information about the programs, check out the Web site at