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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The Y – Updates on safety


May was National Water Safety Month, but the right time to practice life-saving swimming skills is every month—and especially in the summer. The Y offers swim lessons for every age and level, so check out programs at our 95th Street Fry Family Y to learn more.

Swimming is more than just a hobby — it’s a life-saving skill that could prevent thousands of deaths each year. Swim lessons at the Y help focus on water safety, building character and increasing self-confidence. We’ll teach your child to swim confidently at his or her own pace, and enlist you as an active participant in the learning process—just as we’ve been doing for families the past 130 years!

Late May also found all of us at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago heartbroken to learn about the unspeakable act of violence at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that took the lives of 19 of Uvalde’s youngest students and two teachers.

While there are no words to convey the loss these families and the community of Uvalde are experiencing, we at the Y stand in solidarity and send our unwavering support to the victims, their families, the greater Uvalde community, and all who are touched. 

This event is yet another sobering reminder of the work we have to do to ensure that our children can feel secure in their communities and that all of us can connect to our potential, purpose, and each other. The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago remains committed to doing this work.

If you’re a parent, guardian, teacher, or other important adult in a child’s life who understandably does not know how to talk to them about violence, let me suggest the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) at the recommendation of Jill Doerner, M. Ed., Chief Learning Officer, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. NASP provides resources and tips for parents and educators regarding school safety, violence prevention, children’s trauma reactions, and crisis response at www.nasponline.org

As adults, our children look to us for answers when unimaginable acts happen. We have a responsibility to them to make this world a place where they can explore, engage, feel heard, be cared for, and, most importantly, feel safe.

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Stephanie Kuzelis
Stephanie Kuzelishttps://www.ymcachicago.org/fry/
Stephanie Kuzelis is the Executive Director at the Fry Family YMCA.