03/14/12 — Family YMCA gives out free swimsuits

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Family YMCA gives out free swimsuits

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 14, 2012 1:46 PM

The Family YMCA regularly teaches students the fundamentals of swimming and water safety.

But instructors are keenly aware that not everyone has the same advantages or equipment.

So when the local YMCA got a call from another affiliate about a grant for free swimsuits, staff members promptly accepted.

"(The) Y of USA, based out of Chicago, contacted (Goldsboro Family YMCA CEO) John Richards and asked if there was a need," said Anna Whitman, YMCA aquatics director. "We immediately thought of Brogden Primary."

Ms. Whitman estimated they had received about 150 swimsuits, which have been distributed to youth in the program.

"We gladly accepted the donation to help ensure those students who did not own a swimsuit could have proper swim attire while learning about water safety," Richards said. "After speaking to Joey Durham, the P.E. teacher from Brogden Primary, we were able to supply over 60 students with a free swimsuit."

Throughout the school year, fourth- and fifth-graders from Wayne County Public Schools have taken part in the Y's water awareness program. The four-day session educates students about water safety, how to use equipment on the pool deck and the importance of life jackets. Students also have the opportunity to take swim lessons.

On average, officials say, approximately 650 students are educated in the program each year.

"Participating students learn invaluable and potentially lifesaving skills that can help them be able to safely swim or play in or around water," Richards said. "Because of this donation, the recipients were able to wear their free swimsuit throughout the water awareness program and experience the wonderful joy of swimming."

Durham, too, expressed appreciation on behalf of his students.

"Learning how to swim can be intimidating for a child, and not having the proper swim clothes can make it even more difficult," he said. "For those students who had their first experience around water during the water awareness program, this swimsuit donation further helped them to become more comfortable and confident each time they jumped into the pool."