Cape Gazette

Sussex Family YMCA joins world's largest swim lesson

By Dan Cook | Jul 09, 2014
Photo by: Dan Cook Brooklyn Blackwell, 6, receives a helping hand from YMCA volunteer Betty Lou Dlabik during the World's Largest Swim Lesson.

The World's Largest Swim Lesson, an international program, made its stop for the second year June 20 at the Sussex Family YMCA.

Forty countries along with 48 states took to the water at exactly the same moment to comprise the 40,000-participant lesson. The Sussex Family YMCA is one of the two locations in Delaware where the lesson is taught. This year, 51 children took advantage of the free lesson here.

The program was designed five years ago to bring awareness about water safety. May was water safety month, but the lesson is held in June because more people drown in June than any other month.

"We couldn't have done the lesson without the volunteers who taught the children," said YMCA Aquatics Director Lydia Schmierer. "It was a great event."

The World's Largest Swim Lesson isn't the only time lessons are taught at the YMCA.

"Sussex Family YMCA swim lessons run by the week in the summer so vacationers and locals alike can take advantage of them," said Schmierer.

"It's a great event that brings a lot of awareness to our community where we are surrounded by water," said Sussex Family YMCA Director Lauri Weeks.

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Elliott Lamb, 4, has a great time in the pool with volunteer Mary Houck. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Annabelle Mumford, 4, works on her kicking technique. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
YMCA swim instructor John Zinsmeister stresses a point to the participants. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Lily Bisaha, 5, demonstrates her perfect starfish float. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Annabelle McBride, 6, left, and Savannah Jones, 6, do "water bobs" during the World's Largest Swim Lesson. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Josey Murr, 5, swims under the watchful eye of YMCA preschool and camp director Nate Walker. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Bailey Brown, 4, gets a helping hand from volunteer Judy Catterton. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
A camper gets a helping hand from YMCA board member George Brown. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Volunteers Betty Lou Dlabik, in the pool, and Peggy McCloskey hand out swim noodles to help the campers stay afloat. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
YMCA Aquatics Director Lydia Schmierer helps Noah Piper Smith, 4, get over his fear of entering the pool. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
YMCA Aquatics Director Lydia Schmierer is all smiles as Savannah Jones, 6, learns how to float. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Kaleb Larson, 5, leaps off the starting blocks during the World's Largest Swim Lesson. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Lily Bisaha, 6, leaps into the pool to the waiting arms of Aquatics Director Lydia Schmierer. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Green light kicking is the assignment for Lily Bisaha, 5, left, and Ellie Sprague, 6. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Colorful foam noodles make it easier to float around the YMCA pool during the World's Largest Swim Lesson. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Fifty-one participants enjoyed the World's Largest Swim Lesson at the Sussex Family YMCA June 20. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
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