Detroit Swims aims to decrease the number of swim-related fatalities by giving kids the skills and confidence they need to safely enjoy the water.
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 free learn-to-swim programs and raising awareness of the importance of water safety in urban communities nationwide.
The program, started by YMCA lifeguards, focuses on early swim instruction techniques that allow a child to become proficient in swim strokes and water safety within 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.
Every year, YMCAs nationwide come together to encourage a healthier tomorrow. Healthy Kids Day is celebrated by free community events that help families discover active living and healthful eating through play and educational opportunities that inspire them to carry that spirit of fun throughout their summer.
Summer is the time for kids to get up, get out and grow, but sometimes when the school year ends, so does a child’s exposure to activities that stimulate the body and mind. Healthy Kids Day will inspire kids and parents to take advantage of summer and give them the tools to grow and achieve.
Summer Camp helps kids form new friendships, strengthen confidence and sharpen character. However, not all kids have access to enriching summer experiences due to financial constraints at home. The Y raises funds so everyone, regardless of income or background, has the ability to build character and life experiences through camp.
For a better tomorrow, we must invest in our young people today. Teens who lack role models and access to enriching life experiences often make poor decisions that cause long-term hardships, including unemployment, teen pregnancy, substance abuse and more. From providing opportunities to give back through volunteerism to helping teens secure jobs at local companies or discover their artistic edge, the Y is helping young people become socially responsible and coveted employees who know how to work in teams, attain their goals, and problem solve.
Hundreds of individuals with special needs visit our branches each year, seeking a welcoming and accommodating atmosphere to which they can belong. Special needs programs at the YMCA allow everyone, regardless of physical disabilities, behavioral struggles or inability to pay, to participate in adaptive sports, physical education programs and social time with their peers.
Girls on the Run and STRIDE teach girls and boys life skills through dynamic lessons and running games. The program culminates with girls and boys being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K at the end of the program. Through the YMCA, scholarships are awarded so that all kids can have the opportunity to participate.
In the summer, students from low-income families are more prone to learning loss. The YMCA continues students’ learning throughout the summer through two academic day camps, Camp Riley and Camp Phoenix, that carry the academic value of summer school with the feel and excitement of friendship and discovery that camp instills in participants.
According to the office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, children are more likely to engage in drug use, sexual activity and crime from 3 to 7 p.m., in those precious hours after school. The Y provides kids with safe, constructive learning environments across Metro Detroit through its before and afterschool programs. By engaging youth in exercise activities like soccer, basketball and baseball, as well as providing nutritious food and learning opportunities, parents can go to work and school with a peace of mind, knowing their children are safe, healthy and happy.