The YMCA is offering free swimming lessons to children on Belle Isle this summer. The organization Detroit Swims plans to teach 150 kids how to swim. Nikole Constas helps run the program with the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit. She says the initiative’s goal is to decrease the number of drowning victims in the city.
“We created it about five years ago in response to some of the statistics that USA Swimming put out. So 70% of minority children will never learn how to swim, and the drowning rate is about three times as high as their Caucasian peers.”
Constas says the program consists of eight lessons and supplies a free swimsuit, swim cap and towel to each participant. She says the first class at Belle Isle takes place on Saturday. Spots are available first-come, first-serve, and families must register their children, in person, at the Boll Family YMCA.