Jewish Community Center offering free swimming lessons

The goal of the Swim Safe 500 program at the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown is to help reduce the number of swimming accidents

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Because we know drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children, a new program is being offered in the Valley to teach kids basic swimming skills.

The goal of the Swim Safe 500 program at the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown is to help reduce the number of swimming accidents.

The program provides free swimming safety lessons to anyone who is qualified to receive free or reduced lunches.

Swim Safe 500 started last May through grants from the United Way and the Thomases family.

“We find that when children begin the program that only 1 percent of them claim they know how to swim and the vast majority say they’re afraid of water,” said Michael Rawl, executive director of the Jewish Community Center.

So far, close to 200 kids have signed up for the swimming lessons.

Those interested in signing up for the Swim Safe 500 program or learning about other programs can visit the Jewish Community Center’s website.