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With a strong emphasis on the student-centered learning approach, our aquatics programs provide participants the opportunity to learn how to swim at their own pace. Children learn personal water safety, stroke development, water sports and games, rescue and personal growth skills while developing values and positive behaviors that last a lifetime. With the Y, everyone has the opportunity to learn to swim!

Swim lessons are available throughout the metro Milwaukee area. Contact your local Y for more information. Register your child today.

Northside YMCA Aquatics Schedule

Northwest YMCA Aquatics Schedule

Rite-Hite Family YMCA Aquatics Schedule

Milwaukee Swims

A partnership with the Milwaukee County Parks 

As a leader in swim education, the Milwaukee Y teaches more than 9,000 children and adults to swim each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that drowning is one of the top three causes of unintentional injury death for people 29 and younger, and for African-American children aged 5 to 19, the drowning rate is five times that of white children. Nationally, 70% of African-American children, 58% of Hispanic children and 40% of white children have little or no swimming ability and are at risk of water-related injury or death. The Y’s “Milwaukee Swims” partnership with the Milwaukee County Parks will bring swim lessons to more sites throughout the County in an effort to help reverse these preventable and troubling trends.

Beginning the week of June 22, 2015, swim lessons will be taught by certified Milwaukee Y swim instructors one day per week for nine weeks at Jackson, Washington, and Sheridan pools, as well as Schultz Aquatic Center in Lincoln Park and Pelican Cove in Kosciuszko Park. 

These introductory classes are geared toward non-swimmers to learn basic swim skills and water safety, including how to recognize dangerous situations when in and around water environments. Lessons are available for children ages 6 and above, as well as non-swimming adults. Swim lessons will be taught in age-appropriate groups to ensure optimal skill and safety outcomes.

SESSION FEE:  $5 per child with a family maximum cost of $10.  Scholarships also will be available as part of the Milwaukee Swims initiative. 

Summer registration opens May 1, 2015.  For more information, contact us by calling 414.357.2838 or email us at milwaukeeswims@ymcamke.org. To register click here.

Additional Aquatics Offerings

Adaptive Lessons

The Y offers adaptive lessons modified for individuals with disabilities. An individual assessment will be done by a certified instructor in order to determine placement in swim lessons.

Adult/Teen Lessons
The Y offers adult and teen lessons. The program provides a comfortable environment for adults to learn/improve swimming while setting and working towards individual goals.

The Y offers Parent & Child Swim Classes so that parents can share in the joy as their children become confident swimmers. Parents and children learn water safety skills while having fun and making memories for life.

Private, Semi-Private and Family Swim Lessons
Private and semi-private swim lessons provide individualized swim instruction to teach water safety and skill development in a learn to swim progression that is tailored to the individual needs of the swimmer.

Swim Team
The Y offers swim team for youth ages eight to 17 years to refine skills and prepare for competitive swim. Youth develop strength, confidence and positive character traits such as self-discipline, responsibility, and teamwork.

Master’s Swim Team (Ages 18 and up)
Masters swimming is an excellent physical conditioning program for adults. The objective is to improve personal health through participation in swimming aerobic and anaerobic workouts on a regular basis. This program can be modified to meet each participant’s swimming ability and personal goals.

Water Exercise
The Y offers a variety or water exercise programs through the association, including shallow and deep water classes, low impact classes, high intensity cardio classes, and active older adult classes. Please check with your local Center for class availability.


Swim School

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1 to 14. Nationally, 70% of African-American children, 58% of Hispanic children and 40% of white children have little or no swimming ability. Additionally, for these children the cost of swimming lessons is often too high to invest in.

At the Y we believe everyone deserves access to the support we provide, and everyone deserves an opportunity to learn how to swim. The YMCA’s Swim School provides children in the community the access to swimming lessons to teach them the lifelong skill.

By connecting with local schools, the YMCA integrates swimming lessons into the curriculum, and the support of the local community funds the cost. In Swim School children are taught basic swimming skills, how to be safe around water, how to help a friend in trouble in the water, and how to avoid danger, all while encouraging personal growth and development.

Results: In January 2011, 100 2nd and 3rd graders at Lloyd Street School, a school that had 3 students drown in the last 10 years, began a 12 week session of swim lessons at the Northside YMCA. On the first day of class 95% of the students tested at a beginner level, with little to no experience with water and no swimming ability. As the lessons progressed the students became more comfortable in the water and more confident in their abilities.

Over time it became apparent to the Y staff and school teachers that the children were not only learning basic swimming skills, but that they were also becoming stronger as a group, were more willing to try new things, felt a stronger connection to their community because of the support they were receiving, and had more self-confidence.  

As a result of the successful Swim School program at Lloyd Street School, the Northside YMCA has received requests from a number of area schools to participate in the program. 


Aquatics Certifications

Get the knowledge and skills to become a certified lifeguard or a Swim Lesson Instructor.

Aquatics Careers

Interested in turning your love of the water into a career? Click here to visit open positions in the aquatics department at the Y.

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