Safety, skills are focus of 'Splash'
LEFT: Hannah Marquez, front, 11, takes a deep breath during the first day of a free weeklong swim class at the Northwest YMCA. "It's not designed to make an Olympic swimmer out of them. We just want to make them comfortable and give them a few skills," said YMCA aquatic director Barbara McFarlin of the "Splash" class, which started Monday. "When we teach kids to swim, we have fewer drownings. It's a crucial skill."

The YMCA, in partnership with News 4 Tucson, is providing free swim lessons for kids May 16 through Aug. 1.

Sessions will take place at various YMCA locations around Tucson and will focus on teaching water safety to kids ages 3-12 and guardians with children 6 months to 2 years old. 

Every child enrolled in SwimFest will also receive vouchers for additional free swim lessons at any YMCA location.  

Go here to register. 

Here's the schedule and locations:

Thursday, May 16, 4-6:30 p.m., Northwest, 7770 N. Shannon Road

Thursday, May 23, 4-6:30 p.m., Ott, 401 S. Prudence Road

Thursday, May 30, 4-6:30 p.m., Flowing Wells, 4545 N. La Cholla Blvd.

Thursday, June 6, 4-6:30 p.m., Lighthouse, 2900 N. Columbus Blvd.

Thursday, June 20, 4-6:30 p.m., Sahuarita, 16230 S. Starlight View Lane

Thursday, June 27, 4-6:30 p.m., Ott, 401 S. Prudence Road

Thursday, July 11, 4-6:30 p.m., Lohse, 60 W. Alameda Street

Thursday, July 25, 4-6:30 p.m., Northwest, 7770 N. Shannon Road

Thursday, August 1, 4-6:30 p.m., Sahuarita, 16230 S. Starlight View Lane

Angela Pittenger | This Is Tucson