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“Swim for Jenny”: YMCA of South Florida Is Offering Free Swim Lessons

March 28, 2024

With Florida leading the nation in childhood drownings, the YMCA of South Florida reaffirms its commitment to water safety and drowning prevention through its signature event, “Swim for Jenny.” This week-long program offers free swim lessons to children and adults of all ages across South Florida, aiming to mitigate the risk of drowning and foster a culture of aquatic safety.

This year, “Swim for Jenny” will be held through Friday, March 29 at YMCA of South Florida locations in Fort Lauderdale (L.A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center), Hallandale, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines and Weston.

Last year alone, 97 fatal drownings were reported in Florida. For every fatal drowning, five more nonfatal drownings require hospitalization and medical support, often leaving long-term impacts on victims.

“Drowning is the leading cause of death among children 1-4 years old, underscoring the urgent need for accessible swim instruction,” said YMCA of South Florida President and CEO Sheryl A. Woods. “South Florida is surrounded by water, and swim lessons are the difference between life and death. Formal swim lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%, and Swim for Jenny has given us the ability to impact tens of thousands of people throughout South Florida by removing barriers to swim instruction in our community.”

The event started in 2013 and honors the memory of a young girl named Jenny, who drowned in 2011 because she didn’t know how to swim. Since the inception of “Swim for Jenny,” more than 18,000 people have participated with more than 150,000 swim lessons provided.

Who Is Jenny?
Jenny was a one-of-a-kind child. She was smart, energetic, beautiful, and blessed with a loving family. Unfortunately, Jenny lost her life because she did not know how to swim. Swim For Jenny was created to help make sure all kids know how to swim, and how to be safe around the water. The program provides families with free swim lessons for kids.

Registration for free swim instruction through “Swim for Jenny” is now available by visiting:

The YMCA of South Florida
For more than a century, the YMCA has been woven into the fabric of the South Florida community. As an award-winning nonprofit, the Y is committed to strengthening community through more than 200 programs serving everyone from six months old to 100 years young. Our Family Centers and programs are inclusive, vibrant hubs of community life, offering a diverse array of classes, cutting-edge fitness facilities, life-saving aquatics, exciting community events, unforgettable camps, supportive afterschool care, and holistic health and wellness programming. At the Y, there’s something for everyone. Join the movement by connecting with us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, or

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