Young people in underserved communities often do not learn the critical water safety and swimming skills to keep them safe, which results in a disproportionate amount of deaths and injuries each year. The Y is working to address this important issue by offering learn-to-swim programs and raising awareness of the importance of water safety in urban communities nationwide.


Children living in urban areas, especially African-American children, drown at a rate almost three times that of other children according to the YMCA. In a state like Michigan with three great lakes, countless ponds, rivers and in-land lakes, the risk is even greater.

We focus on early swim instruction techniques that allow a child to become proficient in swim strokes and water safety within only an 8 lesson program. The swim program takes children from a “fear of water,” to early safety skills, to basic swim strokes, to accomplished swimmers in a manner of weeks.

In addition to financial donations to support the program, the YMCA is also accepting donation of new or lightly used swim suits and goggles as well. Club Wolverine Swim Team, headquartered in Ann Arbor, will be bringing used suits collected over this past summer.

Visit to learn more.