By: Kara Duffy
January 21, 2014
Thomasville, GA- One by one preschoolers in Thomasville grabbed their goggles and made their way to the YMCA to take a dip in the pool.
It's all part of a program offered by the Y, which gives all preschoolers in both Thomasville and Thomas County free swim lessons.
"By the end of the eight lessons, you typically see children that are much more confident around water and much more stable in their swimming skills," said Tom Everett, the CEO of the Thomasville YMCA.
Portable platforms are placed in the pool so kids can stay in the water at all times.
The preschoolers then take turns working one-on-one with certified lifeguards; learning how to float, how to hold their breath and eventually how to kick and swim on their own.
"Even kids that come in with some swimming background, they're able to really grow and thrive in the water and develop a confidence level that's really amazing to see," Everett added.
Tim Lehman says his son Joe looks forward to the swim lessons every day.
"He loves to come out here; he gets to play with his friends in the pool but also learn what he's doing and learn how to swim," he said.
The preschoolers aren't the only ones who enjoy the extra pool time. Parents say they're beyond grateful for this learning opportunity.
"It gives us a great peace of mind to know that when he's around a pool, he knows what to do and how to be safe," Lehman added.
"We want to make sure children in Thomas County don't become a statistic," Everett said.
Folks at the YMCA say over the next three months, they'll train around 350 preschoolers in the community.