‘Y’ hosting swim week

Youngsters like Miranda DuPray of Gloversville can learn how to swim at the Fulton County YMCA. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)

JOHNSTOWN — Children in Fulton County will get a chance to learn water safety skills as the Fulton County YMCA holds its annual YMCA Splash Swimming and Safety week starting Monday.

The one-week event offers free swimming lessons to children ages

6 months to 14 years. Registration for the classes need to be made by today in person at the YMCA at 213 Harrison St. The building is open until 10 p.m.

YMCA Aquatics Director Jen Ellis said the event is a way to teach both swimming fun and safety just before the start of summer.

She said the courses are designed to build confidence in the water and give some beginning instruction. Safety in and around water is a big part of the program.

“We feel that swimming is essential for everyone to learn. It’s really a lifelong sport and we want kids to be safe in the water,” she said.

For children from the ages of 6 months to 3 years, the YMCA courses teach water acclimate and fun. Ellis said the course is designed to get children comfortable in the water, including getting used to having their hands and feet in the water. She said it will also help parents feel more secure having their children with them in the water.

“It’s not a drown-proofing class,” Ellis said.

For older children, beginner swimming skills are taught.

Ellis said during the classes, they will go over the basic rules before moving into the classes. She said the parent/child classes will feature singing and a variety of fun activities.

Preschool and school-aged children will be starting with basics such as kicking their feet, paddling their arms and floating on their backs.

For kids who have experience in the water, they will focus more on stroke development.

To attend, parents need to bring swimsuits and towels for their children. If the children are in the under-3 category, they will need to be bring a bathing suit and towel for themselves as well. Ellis said goggles can also be brought..

The YMCA will provide any needed flotation devices, toys and various equipment.

For parents and kids who want more in-depth training, seven week sessions are taught by YMCA instructors throughout the year. Ellis said the sessions are once a week for the seven weeks. The sessions are $50 for non- members, free for those with family memberships and $20 for those with a youth membership.

Ellis said anyone with questions about the free classes or seven week sessions can call her at (518) 848-3447.

Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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