YMCA instructor teaches students swimming basics. (Lompoc Family YMCA)

The Lompoc Family YMCA used spring break as a teachable moment with its 3rd Grade Learn to Swim lessons held at the Lompoc High School pool in April.

Twenty-two youngsters learned how to swim in the program that was held in partnership with Lompoc Unified School District and the city of Lompoc. Children learned water-safety skills and had a chance to explore the health benefits of swimming.

“Swimming is a fun and enjoyable activity for children and adults alike, and it’s an easy way to stay physically active and improve strength, flexibility and stamina,” said Stephanie Saucedo, program director at the Lompoc YMCA.

“The Y encourages all children and adults to learn how to swim. It’s never too late. Basic swimming skills and water safety practices save lives every day,” she said.

Over the spring break week, each child improved one full swim level. They were given certificates placing them in the appropriate city swim lesson. The certificate gave parents a starting point and encouraged them to sign their child up for further lifesaving lessons.

The Lompoc Family YMCA encourages parents to take an active role in their children’s safety. Following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:

» Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.

» Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.

» Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

» Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.

» Children and adults should not engage in breath-holding activities.

Swimmers at the Y can enjoy water sports, enhance or learn new techniques, meet new friends, and develop confidence, all while learning lifesaving water-safety skills.

For more information about the Lompoc Family YMCA, visit http://www.ciymca.org/lompoc/ or call 736-3483.

— Felicia Sutherland for Lompoc Family YMCA.