Swimming lessons are one of the first lines of defense against childhood drownings.

High 5 Inc. is offering swimming lessons for all ages throughout the summer through group and private lessons and is teaching water safety to families.

High 5 offers adult swimming lessons, parent and child lessons and its Learn to Swim program for 3-to-17-year-olds. All lessons are half an hour long and have one instructor for every four swimmers.

Sharon Finotti, director of aquatics, said swimming lessons are the first line of defense against youth drowning.

“At High 5, our swimming lessons provide the necessary skills to children and adults so they can be safe while enjoying the water,” Finotti said. “Our highly trained instructors provide a fun, incremental learning environment, which allows for all swimmers to reach their swimming goals.”

Swimming lessons are offered in the mornings and afternoons and on Saturdays throughout the summer. After completing the lessons, swimmers will be invited to join High 5’s Blue Wave swimming team.

In addition to offering swimming lessons throughout the summer, High 5 received a Water Warriors grant from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County. Through the water safety program, parents and children receive free water safety information.

“The grant is used to teach water safety to both the parent and the child,” Finotti said. “Water safety begins with the parents.”

The Children’s Board awarded the over $96,000 grant to High 5 after seeing how the nonprofit recreation center teaches water safety to parents and children.

The water safety lessons teach parents about safety measures they can take to protect their children around bodies of water and CPR. Children can take eight in-water safety lessons to teach them how to float, breath control, water confidence and how to safely enter and exit a pool.

High 5 also teaches water safety in the evenings and on the weekends for parents who work during the day.

“Drowning is silent and swift,” Finotti said. “It can happen to anyone; however, it is something that can be prevented if protective layers are put in place.”

For more information on High 5 Inc. or to sign up for swimming lessons this summer, visit https://high5inc.org/ or call 813-689-0908.

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.