Pickens County YMCA receives $3K grant to give swim lessons

COUNTY — The Pickens County YMCA recently received a $3,000 grant from the YMCA of the USA to help fund individual swim lessons for summer 2014.

The grant will provide 50 additional swim lessons to children in Pickens County free of charge. The grant will focus more specifically on supporting traditional individual, scholarships for children to be placed in already existing and ongoing Y Swim lessons. The scholarships are to go to children from vulnerable and low-income households, who might otherwise not have such opportunities. The Pickens County YMCA is one of 110 YMCAs across America to receive the funds and will collectively serve 5,500 children.

“Every child deserves a chance to learn how to swim, and we look forward to impacting more lives through swimming this summer,” aquatics director Heather Cirincione said. “The Pickens County YMCA is committed to providing as many opportunities as possible for everyone to swim and learn water safety practices.”

The funds will support the Y’s ongoing initiative to reduce the amount of drownings in Pickens County.

As part of National Water Safety Month in May, the Pickens County YMCA encouraged parents to take an active role in their child’s safety. Following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:

• Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.

• Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.

• Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

• Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.

• Children and adults should not engage in breath holding activities.

The Pickens County YMCA offers swim classes for participants starting at 6 months of age through adulthood. For more information or to register for upcoming swim lesson sessions, go to the Pickens County YMCA’s website,, or call 855-9622.