The YMCA of Greater Seattle Joins Swim Seattle Initiative 

Last updated: December 7, 2023, at 8:04 p.m. PT

Originally published: April 20, 2023, at 2:16 p.m. PT

A group of kids smiling at the camera in a pool

We're celebrating our new collaboration dedicated to increasing swim safety skills for Seattle children ages 6 to 13! 

In collaboration with Swim Seattle, a community initiative that promotes basic swimming and water safety skills and aims to provide free swim instruction to Seattle area youth, starting with a pilot program for 250 low-income youth in 2023.  

Swim Seattle was created to address the alarming disparities in swim safety among youth of color. According to statistics, youth of color are far more likely to die from a swim-related death than their white peers and are far less likely to have the opportunity to receive effective swim instruction. 

When swimming is unaffordable and inaccessible, the cost is dire. USA Swimming Foundation states that 79 percent of children in families that earn less than $50,000 a year do not know how to swim. While most parents show interest in signing up for water safety programs, 1 in 2 believe water safety classes are expensive, and 3 in 10 agree that water safety is not affordable and ultimately prioritized lower than other critical health and safety needs. In King County, the median income for Black households is $48,075 (about half of the white median household income). 

To address this issue, Swim Seattle has teamed up with a number of community organizations and advocates, including No More Under, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Children's Hospital, University of Washington, the Drowning Prevention Network, and the YMCA of Greater Seattle. We are so grateful to our partners UnitedHealthcare and POOLCORP, for their generous support of this swim safety initiative.

"Lifelong water safety is a critical part of childhood development, and it's essential that all children have access to swim instruction," said Loria Yeadon, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Seattle. "We are thrilled to collaborate with Swim Seattle and other committed community-based organizations to help make this vision a reality. We believe that by working together, we can ensure that every child in Seattle has the opportunity to learn how to swim and stay safe and have fun in the water." 

The YMCA of Greater Seattle is proud to be a part of this important initiative and looks forward to working with our community partners to ensure that every child in Seattle has access to effective swim instruction.  

Contact: YMCA of Greater Seattle Media Relations Department  
Vannessa Blea 
Senior Director of Communications 



More About YMCA of Greater Seattle   

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Y provides crucial programs and services to more than 120,299 people every year in the Greater Seattle area. With the help of generous donors, we are able to provide more than 450 youth experiencing homelessness with safe, stable housing every night, over 400,000 meals served across King County annually, and more than $11 million in financial assistance to ensure everyone has a chance to succeed and belong at the Y.


Category: Press Releases