The Safety Around Water Program Teaches Youth in Georgetown County with Essential Skills

YMCA of Coastal Carolina launches a new year of the Safety Around Water program in Georgetown County

YSPLASH! also known as “Safety Around Water” is the YMCA’s premier water safety program. In Georgetown County, all 2nd graders in the district participate in the program at the Tidelands Health Georgetown Family YMCA and Tidelands Health Pawleys Family YMCA. 

Since 2010, the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation, Georgetown Parks and Recreation, Georgetown County School District, and the Tidelands Health Georgetown Family YMCA have collaborated to bring the YSPLASH Safety Around Water Program to hundreds of second graders each year.  In the past 12 years, YSplash Safety Around Water participants have learned essential skills preparing them for a lifetime of safely enjoying water. 

With their support, the lives of children in Georgetown County are safer. 

Why is the Safety Around Water Program Important? 

Here in the Grand Strand, we are surrounded by rivers, ponds, the ocean and other potentially dangerous aquatic environments. According to the CDC, “For children ages 1–14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes.” Data from the CDC shows drowning deaths of 1.56 people per 100,000 in South Carolina. 

What do students learn in the program? 

Jamie Harris, Aquatics Coordinator for Tidelands Health Georgetown Family YMCA teaches this program. He explains, “One of the things I do in my position is teach swimming lessons, train lifeguards, and instruct people around Georgetown County about the hazards of aquatic environments and water safety techniques to teach children how to be safe in and out of different aquatic environments. I see the important impact water safety education has on the community.” 

Students go through two in class sessions and 4 pool sessions and learn things like “Reach or Throw Don’t Go”, “Swim, Float, Swim” and “Jump, Push, Turn and Grab”. Students also go through rip current training, boat safety, and what to do and who to contact in an aquatic emergency.  

Last year, we had 580 2nd graders in Georgetown County School District go through Ysplash. This year, we have 549 2nd graders going through YSplash Safety Around Water program. 

Tidelands Health Georgetown Family YMCA will be working with: 

  • Browns Ferry Elementary  
  • Plantersville Elementary  
  • Carvers Bay Elementary  
  • Andrews Elementary  
  • Kensington Elementary  
  • Maryville Elementary  
  • McDonald Elementary 
  • Sampit Elementary 
  • Pleasant Hill Elementary  

Tidelands Health Pawleys Family YMCA will be participating this year and will be working with:  

  • Waccamaw Elementary  
  • Coastal Montessori Schools  

The program provides a foundation for a lifetime of safety around water for youth in our community. 

How can you help? 

This year, we are seeking community support to provide swimsuits and towels for children who do not have their own. If you would like to participate, please drop off swimsuits in sizes 6 – 9 and beach towels at the following locations: