MOULTRIE — A new group of Colquitt County second graders began the SPLASH program at the Moultrie YMCA at the start of the new year.

Through a partnership between the Moultrie YMCA and the Colquitt County School System, the Y is able to provide each second grader an opportunity to attend a water safety course at the YMCA with their class. During their time at the Y, children learn how to enter the water safely, how to float on their backs, how to rescue someone by throwing a flotation device, how to tread water, and how to “scoop” the water and kick.

Okapilco Elementary students completed the SPLASH program Jan. 29. Out of the 74 students who participated in SPLASH, 24 percent were able to swim at the end of the program. YMCA swim instructors and lifeguards classify “knowing how to swim” as being able to swim 15 yards without any type of assistance.

The SPLASH program uses community volunteers in the YMCA’s indoor heated pool, according to a press release from the Y.

“Helping with the SPLASH program is a great way to give back to the community. The SPLASH program operates during the school year twice per week for just a few hours,” says Leslie Peretti, Moultrie YMCA aquatics director. “SPLASH volunteers know they are making a difference in the lives of these children. They finish each session with great reward and a willingness to come back for the next school to participate.”

“All children are encouraged to talk to their parents about swimming and the importance of water safety,” the Y said. “With warmer months approaching, safety in and around water is very important.”

The Moultrie YMCA offers year-round swim lessons for anyone ages 6 months and up. Swim lessons begin the week of Feb. 2 and again the week of March 2. Financial assistance is available to qualified applicants.

For more information on the Moultrie YMCA, the SPLASH program or Swim Lessons, please contact Leslie Peretti at 985-1154 or visit the Y’s website, moultrieymca.org.

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