YMCA of South Florida Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program Kicks Off Season with Free Swim Lessons

Registration now open for five days of free lessons for children, teens and adults as part of the drowning prevention program at participating YMCA locations

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death for children but while they are at the highest risk, anyone can drown. Florida still leads the nation in child drownings of all ages with Broward and Miami-Dade counties having the most drowning deaths in the state.

In total, 64% of African American, 45% of Hispanic/Latino and 40% of Caucasian children have little to no swimming ability, and for every child who loses their life to drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. It has been reported that formal swimming lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%. That’s why it is crucial for parents and caregivers to encourage young children to participate in water safety education and drowning prevention programs. Enter the YMCA.


In preparation for the onset of warmer weather, participating YMCA of South Florida locations are hosting Swim for Jenny Week,” five days of free swim lessons and water safety instruction to children and adults of all ages from Monday, March 20 to Friday, March 24. During the year, 11,000 children and adults are taught drowning prevention and water safety techniques at the YMCA of South Florida.

Since the lack of proper attire can also be a hindrance to kids learning to swim, the Y will also be accepting swim suit donations through their annual Swimsuit Drive at all YMCA of South Florida locations, in an effort to provide additional support during “Swim for Jenny Week.”

Registration for “Swim for Jenny Week” is available by phone at 954-334-9622 or in person at

any of the following participating YMCA locations:

  • A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center

1409 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale

  • Greater Hollywood YMCA Family Center

3161 Taft Street, Hollywood

  • Hallandale Beach YMCA Family Center

501 SE 1 Avenue, Hallandale Beach

  • Pembroke Pines YMCA Family Center

501 SW 172 Avenue, Pembroke Pines

  • Pembroke Pines Aquatic & Program Center

1361 NW 129 Avenue, Pembroke Pines

  • Weston YMCA Family Center

20201Saddle Club Rd, Weston

Named after Jenny, a one-of-a-kind child who was energetic, beautiful and blessed with a loving family but lost her life because she did not know how to swim, “Swim for Jenny Week” seeks to strengthen local communities, impacting the lives of thousands by teaching drowning prevention and water safety techniques.

The Y is hosting kickoff events at select locations including at the L.A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21 and at the Weston YMCA Family Center on Wednesday, March 22 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The annual YMCA Beach Ball set for Saturday, October 14 will once again raise funds for water safety education and drowning prevention programs. Visit https://ymcasouthflorida.org/events as the date gets closer.

For more information, visit ymcasouthflorida.org/event/swim-for-jenny-week. Lesson times may vary by location and the complete schedule for all locations can be found HERE.