Y Splash

In the time it takes to answer a phone call, a child can become submerged underwater and lose consciousness. That’s how fast a drowning can happen. Drowning can occur nearly anywhere with standing water: pools, ponds, culverts, bathtubs—even a bucket.


Teaching children how to be safe around water is one of the most important life skills the YMCA can provide. It not only saves lives, it builds confidence. The Y Splash program is a proven method for teaching children fundamental water safety skills. Children take part in six, 45-minute instructional sessions that will reduce the risk of drowning and give children confidence in and around water. A typical session will include:

•  Exercises to help kids adjust to being in water

•  Instruction in 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

These critical, life-saving skills are taught in just three days.  In the morning, a YMCA Aquatics expert visits the school and teaches a safety lesson for the day. In the afternoon students are transported by bus from their school to the Kirk or Salem Family YMCA to learn in the pool. Each lesson includes a handout for parents and caregivers with additional water safety tips.


During Y Splash, we identify non-swimmers and offer them FREE swim lessons at the YMCA. 


In Y Splash we teach every second grader at these schools how to be safe in and around the water.  We serve all Roanoke City, Roanoke County and Salem City Schools.

During the 2016-2017 school year 2,171 second graders participated in Y Splash. 53% of these children were identified as non-swimmers and are a high-risk of drowning.


The YMCA and Roanoke Valley schools are committed to ensure that our kids are safe in and around the water.  But, we can’t do it alone. Your donation of $3,000 can ensure an entire school of second graders can complete the Y Splash program.  

Volunteer Water Safety Assistants

It takes a village to keep our kids safe, and we invite our community to help us. Volunteers assist swim instructors one hour a day, one or more days a week throughout the school year. 

Volunteer Water Safety Instructors

The Y is seeking volunteers who can teach water safety to second graders in our Y Splash program.

Contact Information:
Josh Yerkes at jyerkes@ymcavbr.org or 540-342-9622