Learn to Swim & Water Safety

California - YMCA of Orange County, East San Gabriel Valley Swim Program - Summer 2019

With the support of LA County Supervisor - First District, Hilda L. Solis and PCMF USA, the YMCA of East San Gabriel Valley offers free summer swim lessons/safety around water courses and recreational swim to the low income residents of the City of Industry, La Puente, Avocado Heights, Valinda, and surrounding communities.

The program serves low-income children and families with free access to open swim and swim lessons for all ages, including adaptive lessons for special needs populations. Programming is offered during the summer months of June-August. 

In summer 2018, the Y served 606 individuals with swim lessons (530 of which were youth) and 383 individuals with open swim. In 2019, the Y hopes to expand the program by offering more lesson times and possibly a second pool location.

The County of Los Angeles Public Health Department states that “drownings are a leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 14, and three die every day as a result of drowning,” and that “drowning kills more children 1-4 than anything else accept birth defects.” Los Angeles County Supervisor, Hilda Solis has partnered with the YMCA of Orange County (operating as YMCA of San Gabriel Valley in this community) to provide access to swim lessons to the most at-risk populations due to the lack of swim programming available in the area. 

Ivan Montano, Aquatics Director for this program stated how impactful this program has been to families in this community. “One parent stated that they did not know how to swim before [last] summer, and he shared that he was able to relate and form a closer relationship with his child now that he is able to bring him and both jump in the water during the open recreation swim rimes. It was amazing to hear that a father would not have provided his child with the most basic lifesaving swim skills if the program were not offered for free and for adults. He shared that he would not have even dreamed of bringing his child, since he himself did not know how to swim. These two were active participants for the whole summer!”

In the Summer 2019, the Y hopes to serve an additional 1000-1500 participants with this program, creating confident swimmers and water safety-educated adults.