Swim Lessons

    Swim Lessons

The Naugatuck YMCA has been awarded the Connecticut State Alliance of YMCA’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection swim grant.  This grant’s effort is to provide FREE comprehensive swimming lessons to children, age 17 or under for those that qualify.  This funding will allow 44 swim slots per session to youth directly in our community.

The Swim lessons will be offered during each of our 6 program sessions throughout the year.  Youth that are recommended by your organization must qualify for the swim lesson program (Qualifications can be found below).  The swim lessons will be held for 30 minutes, for 7 consecutive weeks. Swim instructors trained by the YMCA will use the YMCA of the USA group swim lesson program to create confident and safe swimmers.


  • Age 17, or under
  • Either eligible for SNAP benefits (demonstrated by letter of eligibility)
  • Living in a QCT (determined by address or registration and verified on HUD website)
  • Recommended to the program by a State Agency or Pupil Service on behalf of a Board of Education.

Swim Lessons

The Y is “America’s Swim Instructor” and the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming. The Y introduced the country to the concept of group swim lessons more than 100 years ago (1909), and each year, the Y teaches more than a million children invaluable water safety and swimming skills. As one of the largest community-based organizations in the country, the Y owns or manages over 2,000 pools. Thanks to its size and reach, the Y is in a unique position to help bridge the gap in the delivery of swim lessons and water safety education in the U.S.—especially in underserved communities.

There are three general categories of Y Swim Lessons:

  • Swim Starters develops water enrichment and aquatic readiness in children ages six months to three years. This category focuses on developing swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences. Parents also learn how to supervise children in the water, how to prevent accidents and how to plan for emergencies.
  • Swim Basics develops personal water safety and basic swimming skills in students of all ages. Swimmers develop a high level of comfort in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety and exit if they fall into a body of water.
  • Swim Strokes introduces and refines stroke technique in older students (school age, teens and adults). Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being and foster a lifetime of physical activity.

Help Keep Your Children Safe

Drowning can happen nearly anywhere with standing water. But, as a parent or caregiver, you can’t keep your children sidelined. You need to equip them with the tools they need to be confident in and around water so they don’t lose out on the health benefits of exercise, the opportunities to bond with family and friends and the sense of accomplishment when they learn new skills.

Safety Around Water

Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it is a necessity. The YMCA’s Safety Around Water program can help you make sure they learn essential water safety skills, which can open up a world of possibilities for them to satisfy their curiosity safely.

What Is Safety Around Water?

Through learning how to perform a sequenced set of skills over eight lessons of 40 minutes each, the risk of drowning is reduced, giving your child confidence in and around water.

A typical session includes:

  • Exercises to help kids adjust to being in water
  • Instruction in “Jump, Push, Turn, Grab” and “Swim, Float, Swim,” two skill sets kids can use if they unexpectedly find themselves in the water
  • Specific safety topics, like what to do if you see someone in the water who needs help
  • Fun activities that reinforce skills

Not sure which class is best? Find the right class with our swim lesson selector questions! 

Swim Starters

Accompanied by a parent, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while parents learn about water safety drowning prevention and the importance of supervision. Swim starters are typically age 6 months-3 years.

Can the swimmer respond to verbal cues and jump on land?

YES     or     Not yet, then A/ Water Discovery is for you!

A/ Water Discovery

Parents accompany children in stage A, which introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment through exploration and encourages them to enjoy themselves while learning about the water.

Is the swimmer comfortable working with an instructor without a parent in the water?

YES      or      Not yet, then B/ Water Exploration is for you!

B/ Water Exploration

In stage B, parents work with their children to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills.

Swim Basics

Students learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning two benchmark skills:

  • Swim, float, swim – sequencing front glide, roll, back float, roll, front glide, and exit
  • Jump, push, turn, grab

Swim basics are offered for Preschool Ages 3 years-5 years & School Age 5 years-12 years.

Will the swimmer go underwater voluntarily?

YES      or      Not yet, then 1/ Water Acclimation is for you!

1/ Water Acclimation

Students develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water in stage 1. This stage lays the foundation that allows for student’s future progress in swimming.

Can the swimmer do a front and back float on their own?

YES      or      Not yet, then 2/ Water Movement is for you!

2/ Water Movement

Students focus on body position and control, directional change and forward movement in the water while also continuing to practice how to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water.

Can the swimmer swim 10-15 yard on his or her front and back?

YES      or      Not yet, then 3/ Water Stamina is for you!

3/ Water Stamina

Students learn how to swim to safely from a longer distance than in previous stages in the event of falling into a body of water. This stage also introduces rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg action.

Swim Strokes

Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being, and foster a lifetime of physical activity. Swim strokes classes are offered for School Age 5 years-12 years & Teen/Adult 12+.

Can the swimmer swim 25 yards of front and back crawl?

YES      or      Not yet, then 4/ Stroke Introduction is for you!

4/ Stroke Introduction

Students develop stroke technique in front crawl and back crawl and learn the backstroke kick and butterfly kick. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke.

Can the swimmer swim front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool?

YES      or      Not yet, then 5/ Stroke Development is for you!

5/ Stroke Development

Students work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke.

Can the swimmer swim front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool and back?

YES      or      Not yet, then 6/ Stroke Mechanics is for you!

6/ Stroke Mechanics

Students refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming and discover hoe to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.


Looking to refine your strokes in a competitive environment?

  7/ Pre-Swim Team is for you!

7 / Pre-Swim Team

Students are introduced to the concept of team and competitive swim skills in turns, dives, and starts. Refines stroke technique for performance, speed, and strength. Must have completed Level 6.


Learn more about Private or Semi-Private lessons where swimmers can learn in a reduced distraction setting, hone skills or prepare for competition.

Naugatuck Y Swim Lesson Contact Information

Aquatic Director Justin Merkovsky

(203) 729-9622 X 3009

284 Church St. Naugatuck, CT 06770


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