NEW WINDSOR – On Sunday, December 16, more than 100 people, including 60 children, attended America Rows and Swims Newburgh (ARSN)’s annual open house, at the Community Avenue Fitness Center in New Windsor, said Juliana LoBiondo, local attorney and director of ARSN.
“These kids were wonderful,“ said Coach Ed Kennedy, Head Swim Coach for ARSN’s free learn to swim program. “It takes a lot of bravery for kids just to put their face in the water and blow bubbles. And all of the kids were able to do that today, I could not be more proud.”
ARSN provides the only completely free learn to swim program in the Hudson Valley, according to LoBiondo. “Childhood drowning is, unfortunately, so pervasive that the Centers for Disease Control has declared it to be an epidemic. USA Swimming, which provides one of the grants for our program, believes that the only way to combat this epidemic is with formal swim lessons. We believe that the only way to provide that to the Newburgh community is with free swim lessons.”
The Open House also included a free learn to row clinic for the kids, paddleboarding, games, relays, and raffles, as well as a free pizza party. “It was a great success,” said Coach Kennedy. “We look forward to continuing the free learn to swim program in spring of 2019.”
The program is free to families living close to the federal poverty level, and available on a sliding scale to other families. For more information about America Rows and Swims Newburgh, which also provides free and reduced tuition scholarships to the Newburgh Rowing club, visit www.RowSwimNewburgh.org or email NewburghRowers@gmail.com