YMCA trying to reduce youth drownings


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- It feels like summer out there. Many of you are probably heading to the lake, or planning on a swim this weekend. If so, keep a close eye on your kids. Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children.

The YMCA of Central Kentucky is trying to change that. Almost 100 kids from Red Oak Elementary in Jessamine Country visited the Whitaker Family YMCA in Lexington Friday.

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They took part in Central Kentucky Swims, an annual primer on water safety skills.

“I think we’ve set their minds at ease. They’re all having a great time,” Vice President of Youth Development, Jessica Berry, said.

She added many of the kids had never been in the water.

“It is amazing. I’ve been walking around, asking, ‘How does it feel to be in the water?’ and that’s exactly what I’ve heard, ‘It feels amazing!'”

Students are making waves, learning how to kick, how to float on their stomachs and backs, and how to jump into the water properly.

Teacher, Michael Shelton says he is impressed.

“Swimming lessons are super important. I know my boys take them and this gives everyone a chance to have them,” Shelton said.

“Yeah, it was awesome and terrific,” 2nd grader Sadie Hisle said of the lesson, “It helps me a lot because I didn’t know how to do so many tricks in the water.”

Now, they not only know tricks, but also tips to stay safe in and around the water this summer.

Students went home with a voucher for eight weeks of swimming lessons. The YMCA hopes parents will agree to the offer so kids can continue becoming stronger swimmers.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!