YMCA of Greater Brandywine Makes a SPLASH with Free Water Safety Lessons

Accidental drowning is a leading cause of death for children under the age 15.

ATGLEN – More than 180 students from Avon Grove Charter School received free Water Safety instruction this past week at the Jennersville YMCA through the organization’s Safety Around Water program.

While the temperatures are dropping and jumping into a pool or heading to the beach is far from most people’s minds, the YMCA seeks to remind the community that water safety is a year-round activity.

“Safety is always our top priority,” explained Andy Hockenbrock, Executive Director of the Jennersville YMCA. “Being around water is big fun – but also a big responsibility. And we want to instill this sense of responsibility among our youngest community members.”

During Safety Around Water events, which are held throughout the year in partnership with several area school districts and community groups, aquatics instructors teach children to safely enter and exit a body of water – and how to respond when in deep water. Children are split into small groups and rotate through stations where they strengthen their skills.
Students who participate in the program, but lack proficiency in basic water safety skills, are provided a complimentary voucher to enroll in the organization’s traditional swimming lessons. This is funded through the Rebekah J. Hostetter Learn to Swim Endowment Fund. The fund honors the memory of Rebekah Hostetter, who was a dedicated swim coach, lifeguard and swim teacher at the YMCA.

“The world is 71% water, and children are 100% curious. We want to enable children to be curious - while also being safe,” said Hockenbrock.
To learn more about the YMCA’s Safety Around Water program, please visit ymcagbw.org/watersafety.