YMCA, Corps teaches youth water safety

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District
Story by Mark Rankin

Date: 12.16.2013
Posted: 12.17.2013 16:08
News ID: 118341
YMCA, Corps teaches youth water safety

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville district park ranger at Dale Hollow Lake joined forces with the Putnam County Family YMCA today to teach second-graders about water safety.<br /> <br /> Park Ranger Sondra Carmen met with second-graders from the Cane Creek elementary school who were participating in the YMCA Learn-to-Swim Program. She spoke to them about the importance of knowing how to swim and educated them about water safety and recreating in a safe environment. <br /> <br /> “I believe if youths and teens learn to swim early, they become better swimmers that have confidence and endurance," Carmen said.<br /> <br /> Carmen spoke to a crowd of 52 energetic second grade students at their class graduation.<br /> <br /> Before hitting the water one last time, Carmen taught the group fundamental songs and chants that can help them to remember safety practices and safety measures such as wearing a life jacket and wearing prescribed safety gear.<br /> <br /> “This class is the start of a lifetime of swimming for some and our intention is to help them remember water safety when they go swimming with friends or recreating with family,” said Carmen. <br /> <br /> She said when youth get used to being in and around the water they tend to learn the basic water safety principles that make them better swimmers and boaters.<br /> <br /> "This is a great class for our students," said Andrea Bingham a second grade teacher at Cane Creek Elementary School. <br /> <br /> In 2013 the YMCA has reached more than 15,000 youth in the Putnam County area that reaches out to 12 schools, both public and private.<br /> <br /> “Our goal is to help every child learn to swim and practice water safety,” said Jeremy Govero, program director for youth sports at the YMCA. <br /> <br /> The YMCA sponsors the program and provides weekly swim lessons to many of the county’s local schools.<br /> <br /> “We have 15 volunteer instructors who love teaching and providing hands on training for each session,” said Govero.<br /> <br /> Carmen attends the graduation classes, teaches the youth a variety of ways to remember safety techniques, boating safety and teaches the importance of choosing and properly fitting a life jacket.<br /> <br /> “It is great that we get the opportunity to provide this type of training to the youth and I know they will be better swimmers, boaters and citizens because of the training,” said Carmen.<br /> <br /> The Learn-to-Swim program is designed to help teachers guide children grades kindergarten through six grade water safety lessons in an entertaining way.<br /> <br /> “This is an excellent program which helps our students gain confidence and courage to swim at an early age,” added Tammie Wright a second-grade Cane Creek Elementary School teacher. “Swimming is a tool they can use for the rest of their lives.”