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The Mattoon Area Family YMCA is excited to announce an updated swim lesson curriculum for 2018. YUSA has spent five years conducting research from parents, participants, instructors, and recognized swimming professionals in order to create a highly improved and streamlined curriculum that is designed to meet the needs of everyone involved. Group swim lessons were originally developed by the YMCA, and it makes sense that the YMCA would be the ones to make the radical changes to improve the world of swim lessons.

The new swim lesson program will focus greatly on safety by getting young swimmers to be comfortable in the water and to practice basic self-rescue skills. The new outline of the lessons will give a clear and simple way of introducing new skills with each level and then build on those skills with the next level.

If you are familiar with the former swim lesson curriculum, you know that each level was named after a fish causing some confusion as to which level a child would need to register for with their next session. Gone are those fish names as the new titles clearly state the skill to be taught. Levels will now have titles such as Water Discovery, Water Movement, Water Stamina and Stroke Introduction, to name a few.

Water Discovery is the new parent/child lessons for the youngest of swimmers (0-3 years of age), while swim basics are taught in Water Acclimations, Water Movement and Water Stamina, which are for youth ages 3-5. Older youth, ages 5-12, will have the option to register for lessons that will develop strokes and focus on stoke mechanics.

To help with the level selection, YMCA staff will ask several questions prior to registration to find the best fit for your child. Lessons will run in eight week sessions, meeting one time per week. Choose from evenings, Saturdays, or daytime lessons for our Home School Program.

The next set of lessons is set to begin the week of Jan. 8, 2018, with registration currently open for these lessons. Class size is kept small so each child has the needed guidance they deserve with each lesson. Because class sizes are limited, we encourage parents to register early.

Swim lessons are available to both Y members and non–members with financial assistance scholarships available to families in need. The fees for the eight week sessions are as follows: $28 for Y members; $56 for non-members. The child attending lessons must be a Mattoon Y member to receive the member rate.

Group lessons are a great option but are not the only way to attend swim lessons at the Y. Private and semi-private lessons are available. These lessons are 30 minutes in length and give participants more one-on-one time with their instructor. To inquire about private swim lessons, please contact Austin Birch at 217-234-9494 or

We invite you to stop in the Mattoon YMCA at 221 N. 16th Street to learn more about the new curriculum. If you would like to register for lessons but receive the lower member rate, join the Y in December as we waive the joining fee on all new or renewed memberships. The YMCA staff looks forward to serving you in the areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.


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