The new swim curriculum, developed as part of YMCA of the USA’s 2014 – 2017 strategic plan, has already proven to be effective at the YMCA of Greater San Antonio.
The self-rescue skills that three-year-old Annabelle Strauss learned through swim lessons at the Y, saved her life this past summer.
Annabelle’s mother, Jamie Strauss, worked as a lifeguard as a teenager and understood the importance of knowing how to swim and not being fearful of water. Jamie enrolled Annabelle in swim lessons at the Walzem Family YMCA, and right away, Annabelle was apprehensive of the water, especially near her face. After a few individual lessons she was able to transition into group lessons and became comfortable with the basics. Each week she practiced flipping over onto her back to float, one of the very first skills taught to new swimmers of any age.
This simple skill allowed Annabelle to save herself when she fell into a lake during a family fishing trip. Jamie immediately rushed to save her daughter but before she could get to her, Annabelle had already flipped over onto her back and began to float.
Annabelle is no longer afraid of the water and now looks forward to swim lessons each week. Each lesson strengthens her swimming abilities and builds her confidence in the water.