The Y Helps Lackawanna County Children Learn to be Safe Around Water

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As part of the Y’s commitment to reduce drowning rates and keep kids safe in and around the water, the Greater Scranton YMCA will hold its Annual Safe Around Water Campaign in June. The campaign will provide 100 scholarships for swim instruction and water safety to low-income children in the Greater Scranton region.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages one to 14 years old. In ethnically diverse communities, the youth drowning rate is two to three times higher than the national average, according to a USA Swimming study. Additionally 64 percent of African-American children, 45 percent of latino children, and 40 percent of Caucaian children have no or low swimming ability.

“Educating children how to be safe around water is just as important as teaching them to look both ways before they cross the street,” said Diana Dempey, Senior Aquatics Director, Greater Scranton & Wilkes-Barre Family YMCAs. “The Y teaches children of all ages and backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared, and this practice not only saves lives it builds confidence.”

The Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for more than 160 years. The Greater Scranton YMCA continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water. Our Annual Safe Around Water Campaign gives children an opportunity to learn new swimming skills designed to help keep them safe around water. These concentrated one-week sessions (five lessons over five days) will be held Monday through Friday during the following weeks: June 10-June 14, June 17-21 and June 24-28. The Safe Around Water Campaign is generously supported by YMCA of the USA and the Kiwanis Club of Scranton.

To learn more about aquatics at the Greater Scranton YMCA, including the Safe Around Water Campaign, visit or contact Diana Dempsey at or call (570) 828-3112.

(Information from Meghan Carnevale)

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