The Bath Area Family YMCA is offering free swim lessons for New Americans. Contributed photo via Bath Area Family YMCA

This month, the Bath Area Family YMCA began offering a new, free swim lesson program for adult New Americans who do not know how to swim.

“To relocate to a new country and new community that is located by so many water sources must be overwhelming,” YMCA CEO Sabrina Murphy said. “The Bath Area Family YMCA has a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force that looks at meeting exactly these types of essential needs in or community.”

Swimming lessons are available for other members of the community, as the Y has reopened its pools following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have children complete a basic swim test before they join recreational swims for child care, camp, or any of our youth programs,” Aquatics Director Brian “Sponge” Savage said. “This year we were shocked that as a result of the COVID closures almost all the children in our summer camp did not pass the basic swim test. This highlighted for us how important our YMCA Swim Lessons and Safety Around Water Programs are. We are also learning that many adults in our New American Community are non-swimmers and want to learn to swim.”

The Y cited the Maine Medical Examiner’s Office, which recorded  11 drowning deaths statewide so far this year.

There were 43 drowning deaths in 2020, 32 in 2019 and 34 in 2018.

Those interested in swimming lessons can visit bathymca.org for more information or emailing [email protected]

The swim program is made possible by the support of YMCA donors.

“We have a few options for Aquatic Related philanthropic support, such as the Fuss Ferris Endowment for Youth Aquatics, or a designated gift to the YMCA Annual Campaign to support aquatics,” Murphy said.

Donations can be made at bathymca.org/giving/ or emailing [email protected]

The Y is also accepting volunteer applications.

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