The YMCA is committed to teaching critical safety around water skills to the Chester County community. 

Accidental drowning is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 15. Our Safety Around Water program provides free swim instruction to children, in partnership with their school district or community group, which teaches life-saving skills and opens a world of possibilities for them to safely satisfy their curiosity. 

 Interested in bringing your school district, program or organization to the YMCA for a Safety Around Water program? Please contact the executive director at your preferred location. 

Safety Around Water programming is offered at no cost to area districts and community organizations and is generously supported by area businesses and individuals. 


More than 1,000,000 Children are Taught Water Safety and Swimming Skills Yearly at a YMCA

The Y is “America’s Swim Instructor” and the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming. As one of the largest community-based organizations in the country, the Y owns or manages over 2,000 pools, which has allowed us to teach more than a million children invaluable water safety and swimming skills each year.

Thanks to its size and reach, the Y is in a unique position to help bridge the gap in the delivery of swim lessons and water safety education in the U.S. — especially in underserved communities.

  • Drowning is the leading cause of death for children, age one to four years old. Three children die every day as a result of drowning according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
  • Drowning kills approximately 4,000 people each year in the U.S.
  • 9 in 10 U.S. parents see swimming as a key life skill for children, on par with first aid skills or being able to prepare a simple meal.
  • 1 in 2 U.S. parents believe water safety classes are expensive in comparison to the other groups surveyed.
  • 24% of U.S. parents have low confidence with water activities or bodies of water
  • 3 in 10 U.S parents state that water safety isn’t a priority due to affordability concerns. 
  • 44% of black parents have beginner or no swimming ability, a nearly 20 percent point difference in comparison to other U.S. parents
A YMCA swimming instructor prepares for a free swim lesson with children from the local elementary school through a Safety Around Water program.

“The YMCA staff leading the Aquatic Safety Program were patient, kind, and exceptional instructors…they understand kids and how to make learning fun!”

- Shelda Perry, Principal of Lionville Elementary School