The USA Swimming Foundation reports nearly 90 children younger than 15 drowned in a pool or spa from January
through May 2018, and every year about 19 children drown during the July 4 holiday.
That’s why the Red Wing Family YMCA has set its sights on teaching every third grader how to be safe around
water. Working closely with the Red Wing Public Schools, the YMCA will transport and teach every third grader the
Safety Around Water Program at the YMCA during the school day.
This multi-day course, taught by certified instructors, teaches children two sets of skills that will reduce the risk
of drowning and give them confidence in and around water. Each lesson also includes a handout for parents and
caregivers with additional water safety tips. “These classes are critical to preventing accidents around water,
and with our beautiful town located right along the Mississippi River, it’s even more important that we
teach our kids to be safe around water,” said Mike Melstad, Director of the Red Wing YMCA.
The Red Wing Family YMCA hopes to raise enough funds through community support to ensure that every single
child, regardless of family income, can learn to be safe around water. “It’s a big undertaking and will cost tens of
thousands of dollars, but if we don’t teach these kids when they are young, we miss an opportunity to
prevent the unimaginable. We think that the town of Red Wing will rally to support this effort,” Melstad
If you would like more information about the program or would like to donate, please call Mike Melstad at 651-388-
4724 or firstname.lastname@example.org.