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NYC Parks offers swimming lessons to 2nd graders in Jamaica and Flushing

Apr. 1, 2024 By Athena Dawson

The NYC Parks Department has teamed up with the Department of Education to offer swimming lessons to second graders throughout the city.

The lessons, which are part of the “Swim For Life” water safety program and have been running since October, aim to prevent childhood drownings.

The ten-week program teaches kids valuable water safety skills, new fitness habits and offers fun activities in the pool.

Swim for Life focuses on second graders because it is the perfect age for learning to swim. They are typically not worried about tests, excited to learn, not shy and do not have concerns about how they look.

For interested parents, classes are ongoing until June, at a cost of $100 per child. Students come for a one-hour weekly session as part of the school day at a designated time between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Certified swim instructors teach a common curriculum, with the aim of making the children confident swimmers by summer.   

In the U.S., accidental drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional death in kids under 14. Drowning also disproportionately affects children of color.

The two pools in Queens that offer the program are the Roy Wilkins Recreation Center Pool, located on Baisley Boulevard and 177th Street in Jamaica, and the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Aquatic Center, at 131-04 Meridian Rd. in Flushing. To register, call 718- 760-6969.

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