71% of the World is Water.
Children are 100% Curious.

Whether you're playing in a backyard pool, splashing in a bathtub, or cooling off during the summer months next to a local stream or river, it just takes a moment. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line, or apply sunscreen. Teaching children how to swim and be safe in and around water is one of the most important life skills parents can give their children. It not only saves lives; it builds confidence. 

The Y's Commitment to Water Safety

The YMCA of Greater Seattle is committed to removing barriers that limit all people from developing their full potential, and that includes being safe around water. 

Safety Around Water Starts with Leadership

Swim Lessons

The Y is “America’s Swim Instructor” and the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming. Each year, the YMCA of Greater Seattle teaches more than 13,000 people how to swim through our group and private swim lessons. We also offer scholarships so that a family's financial situation is not a barrier to learning to swim.


    Partnerships with Y-USA, local governments, and non-profit organizations help the Y extend our reach into our community.

    • Swim Seattle, an initiative that provides free swim lessons to youth of color is designed to remove barriers to swim, eradicate disproportionate drownings among youth of color, and offer culturally responsive workshops so children have the tools they need to stay safe in and around the water. This program ensures that children in our community have access to basic swimming and water safety skills, regardless of their financial circumstances.
    • Y-USA Swim Access Grants provides swim lessons for youth with diverse abilities. 
    • POOLCORP aims to teach kids about safety, build their confidence, and share the joy of swimming with A Splash of Joy™.
    • The Global Guards program at the Matt Griffin YMCA partners with local high schools in a community where over 160 languages are spoken. Students receive credits for Y Lifeguard Training and are often hired as guards and instructors in our pools.
    • Gabrielle's Wings provides a grant to for swim lessons to Black and Brown families, including parents and guardians.   
    • With No More Under, we distribute Coast Guard approved lifejackets to underserved communities, school districts, and child care locations.

    Take the Family Pledge to be Safe Around Water

    May is Safety Around Water month! During this month, local Ys will offer your family the opportunity to take the pledge to be safe around water. If a visit is not in your plans, take the pledge at home with the video below.

    Safety Around Water

    Swim Basics Group Lessons

    Develop personal water safety and basic swimming skills. Swimmers gain a high level of comfort in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety and exit if they fall into a body of water.

    Private Swim Lessons

    Refine your stroke, practice your breathing rhythm, or elevate your turns with private swim lessons. Instructors teach from the pool edge, so participants must be able to swim 25 yards unsupported.

    Lap & Recreational Swim

    The Y is a great place to make a splash. Learn about safe, socially-distanced ways to enjoy the water at the Y. These activities are offered just for members and reservations are required.