New York City’s YMCAWe’re here for good.

2nd Grade Swim

Second grade is an ideal time for young people to take on new challenges, learn more skills and enhance their feelings of mastery and competence. Through 2nd Grade Swim, the YMCA of Greater New York seeks to offer children lessons in swimming skills and water safety that will keep them safe and build physical and social skills.
2nd Grade Swim works to build on students aquatic skills, while enhancing self confidence and well-being. Classes run in eight-week cycles during the academic year during school hours. Children are brought to their school’s local Y by school personnel who will remain with them throughout the changing process and at the pool area during swim lessons. Currently, 18 public schools throughout the five boroughs are partnered with their local Y in 2nd Grade Swim.

2nd Grade Swim students progress through a scientifically-based national YMCA curriculum that incorporates the following five components:

  • Personal Safety: Students learn to be safety conscious in and around water. The information forms the basis of accident prevention. Survival skills, self-rescue and boating safety are taught.
  • Personal Growth: In learning new skills students build self-esteem. They also learn the consequences of their choices in relation to water safety.
  • Stroke Development: Students are taught through stroke techniques. Paddling skills, treading, floating, basic rescue skills and safety using lifejackets are among those taught.
  • Water Games: Games are used to enhance skills learned. Retrieving objects underwater and passing a ball are examples of is taught.
  • Rescue: Students learn safety techniques – knowing when to yell for help, being able to go to an adult for assistance, reaching and throwing assists.

To learn more about how 2nd Grade Swim could be a fit for your school, contact Mary O'Donoghue, Aquatic Specialist, at 212-630-9624 or