Geneva Lakes Family YMCA

Safety Around Water Program

Did you know that about one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger? Did you know a large percentage of children drown within 6-10 feet of safety? Most of these drownings happen because of no or very little basic water safety knowledge and skills. That is heartbreaking information!

Teaching children how to be safe around water is a necessity. The Geneva Lakes Family YMCA’s Safety Around Water program ensures that kids in our community learn essential water safety skills that could someday save their life.  

We partner with area schools to provide opportunities for all Walworth County 2nd graders to participate in this program for free thanks to a generous grant by Kikkoman.  Many participants come into the program with no swimming experience, but they graduate with the skills they need to be confident around the water and reduce the risk of drowning.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we have adjusted our curriculum in order to continue this program to the schools!  We are offering several options, including a virtual or prerecorded presentation for the schools to present to their class, and then the kids are invited to come to the YMCA on a set of dates with a parent/guardian to learn these very important skills in the water!
Learn more here

Last school year we had the following schools participate in this Safety Around Water program: 

Elkhorn Options Homeschool 
Williams Bay Elementary School
Delavan Christian School
Sharon Elementary
Mt. Zion
Walworth Elementary
Our Redeemer
Reek Elementary
Woods School
Presentation at the school:
Central-Denison Elementary 
What Is a typical session like?

A typical 45-minute Safety Around Water session includes:

  • Exercises to help kids adjust to being in water
  • Instruction in “Jump, Push, Turn, Grab” and “Swim, Float, Swim.” Kids can use these skill sets if they unexpectedly find themselves in the water.
  • Specific safety topics, like what to do if you see someone in the water who needs help
  • Fun activities that reinforce swim skills
What does the program cost?
Due to a generous grant  from the Kikkoman Foods Foundation, this program is available at NO COST to all second graders that attend schools in Walworth County.  
The YMCA also conducts an annual Swim Suit Drive every September and provide suits to children who cannot afford the cost of pool attire. We work to remove every barrier that might prevent a child from learning how to swim.
Our YMCA Safety Around Water program is one of our key program offerings and is directly linked with our mission and commitment to Social Responsibility and Youth Development. We are committed to engaging more kids every year to equip them with life-saving skills.

How Does My School Get Involved?

If you would like more info on how to become a Safety Around Water school or would like to volunteer, please contact Gertrude Suhajda, Aquatics Director at 262.248.6211 x22 or at

See flyer for additional information

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