GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – The Georgetown Rotary Club and the Georgetown County YMCA met Tuesday to discuss ways to help lower-income families in the community. 

The Georgetown Rotary Club applied for a grant from Rotary International to pay for kids at the YMCA to have free swimming lessons. Anne Hartis from the Rotary Club said they saw a strong need for kids to know how to swim, but they also knew everyone couldn’t afford swimming lessons. This is why they decided to sponsor summer camp kids at the YMCA.  “We found out that a lot of parents do not know how to swim, and therefore, they’re actually frightened of water and the children are frightened from water,” said Hartis. “We’re anticipating this will cause someone to be able to save their own life, and perhaps a friends life.” 

The swimming lessons at the YMCA include a variety of skills for kids, and Michelle Krenzer with the YMCA said they’ve seen differences in the kids abilities. “We had 13 or 14 kids that could not pass the swim test that are now passing the swim test and able to swim all over the pool,” said Krenzer. “We go over safety components with them, and we have a rip current simulator we put in where we teach the kids how to get in and out of rip currents.” Krenzer also said they work with kids on how to get in and out of boats safely. 

The Georgetown Rotary Club will have a ceremony at the end of the summer to recognize kids for their accomplishments in learning how to swim. The Georgetown County YMCA holds swim lessons year-round, and if you’re interested in signing up, contact the YMCA at 843.545.9622.