IRON MOUNTAIN – The third grade swim lessons program at Northern Lights YMCA Dickinson Center, now in its seventh year, is underway this month running through April.
Made possible with the support of Marshfield Medical Center-Dickinson (MMC-D) and Annual Campaign donations, the free program will see more than 350 children take part this spring.
“Marshfield Medical Center-Dickinson is proud to sponsor the YMCA’s third-grade swim lesson initiative. It aligns perfectly with our community outreach goals to care for and educate the youth in our communities about having fun while being safe and healthy,” said Mandy Shelast, President of MMC-D.
All area third graders will be bussed from school to the Y once a week for five weeks of lessons. Each lesson is 40 minutes, and the children learn water safety, self-rescue and basic stroke techniques. The program is also open to home schooled children.
“We’re excited to get the program started again this year and so thankful for the support provided by Marshfield Medical Center-Dickinson and our Annual Campaign donors,” NLYMCA Aquatics Director Anna Briseno said. “Without their support, we would not be able to offer this free community initiative.”
For many area youth, the YMCA program is their first introduction to formal swim lessons. Along with learning a life-long skill, many graduates of the program have gone on to join the YMCA swim team and high school swim program.
“We can never stress enough the importance of teaching our children water safety,” Briseno said. “The abundance of lakes and rivers in our area provides ample opportunity for water activities in the summer, and studies prove that participation in certified swim lessons greatly reduces the risk of drowning.”
The children taking part in the program come from Woodland Elementary School in Kingsford, North Elementary School in Iron Mountain, Norway Elementary School, Bishop Baraga Catholic School in Iron Mountain, Holy Spirit Catholic School in Norway, North Dickinson Elementary School in Felch, Niagara Schools in Niagara, Wis., and Florence Elementary School in Florence, Wis.
The YMCA’s Annual Campaign is currently underway. Supporters can CLICK HERE, stop by the Y or call 774-4076 to make a contribution.