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Learning to Love the Water—Safely

September 9, 2015 | Community News, Vineland

Learning to love the water VINELANDFifty Vineland children will have more confidence facing the water thanks to free swimming lessons sponsored by the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA.

David Calderetti, project manager for NJPHK-V underscored the importance of learning to swim with a few sobering facts: Drowning is the number 2 cause of accidental deaths among children ages one to 14. Two children die every day as a result of drowning. Eight percent of kids who drown do so under adult supervision; usually safety is just 10 feet away.

Calderetti stresses that learning to swim is especially important for city children who don’t grow up with backyard pools or swim club memberships. “Kids who are not exposed to water may not fear it. They’re apt to just jump in. Once they hit the water they panic because they don’t know what to do.”

Recognizing the importance of teaching swimming and water safety, the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA applied for and received a grant from the YMCA of the USA which enabled 50 children to partake in an eight-lesson program at the Y with trained and certified instructors. The Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA does provide swim lessons all year round; however, this grant allows the organization to reach children that might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn how to swim.

“It’s a start,” said Calderetti, “But we had over 100 applicants for the 50 slots, so there’s still a big need to fill.”

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