By Tamas Mondovics

In its effort to prevent childhood drowning, the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has scheduled to hold its annual, Safety Around Water event, which provides free swim lessons to children this month.

While the weeklong event coincides with Hillsborough County Public Schools spring break, it also marks the kickoff of this year’s swim lessons season. “The Y is dedicated to providing student-centered swim lessons designed to nurture the development of each individual through dynamic group lessons,” said Tampa YMCA Communications Director, Lalita Llerena, adding that the Y teaches kids, teens and adults how to swim, so they can stay safe around water and learn the skills they need to make swimming a lifelong pursuit for staying healthy.

“We offer swim classes for all ages and skill levels to help create the best learning environment led by nationally certified Y instructors,” she said.

Llerena specifically emphasized the importance of the annual Safety Around Water program, which she said comes on the heels of new data showing that the drowning rate among children in Hillsborough County, ages 0-6, was actually reduced by 50 percent in 2016.

“This reduction in childhood drowning is encouraging news to local agencies, including the Tampa YMCA and the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, collaborating to help eliminate drowning cases among local youth,” Llerena said.

Association Aquatics Experience Executive Amanda Walker agreed when she said that the Tampa YMCA believes a child’s safety in and around water should never be left to chance. “We’re committed to providing the free Safety Around Water program annually in the spring to help keep kids stay safe at the beach, pool, lake and while boating.”

Swim lessons at the Y are divided by age level and preference and provide important life skills that could save a life and will benefit students for a lifetime.

It is safe to say that there’s a swimming class for all Greater Brandon area residents and those interested can reserve a spot at nearby Y locations in Bloomingdale, Valrico, Seffner and neighboring regions. 

For more information about swimming lessons at a local YMCA facility please visit

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