While fatal drowning is a concern for all kids, children of color are disproportionately at-risk.

That’s why during the month of May, which is National Water Safety Month, the YMCA is working to reverse the alarming youth drowning ratest through free water safety lessons.

The Y is awarding more than 18,000 scholarships for free water safety lessons (up from 13,000 scholarships in 2015) to children from underserved communities as a part of itsSafety Around Water program.

Through the Y’s Safety Around Water program, parents and caregivers will help their children learn fundamental water safety and swimming skills. Armed with these skills, children will know how to reach the water’s surface if they become submerged, safely reach a pool’s edge, exit any body of water and respond to unexpected water situations.

“It’s our mission to help mitigate the socio-cultural factors that inhibit today’s youth—especially those of color in urban communities—from receiving the potentially lifesaving skills to keep them safe in and around water,” said Kevin Washington, President and CEO of Y-USA.

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