St. Ann Center’s aquatics program keeps kids safe around the water. (Submitted photo)

A new swimming program is being offered at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care-Bucyrus Campus, 2450 W. North Ave. Open to children enrolled in the center’s day care and after-school programs, students 3 years old and older can participate in weekly swimming free, as part of their enrollment.

The campus’ new aquatic center was built to address the lack of facilities on Milwaukee’s north side that promote physical fitness, health and wellness. The warm-water pool is fully accessible, from the wheelchair ramp into the water to the accommodations in the locker rooms. The pool also includes a lap lane where youth can train for competitive swimming.

Small group classes are supervised by a certified swimming instructor. All children wear swim jackets for safety. Non-swimmers have a chance to get used to moving in the pool, overcoming any fear of being in the water.

“Our goal is to teach this vital lifesaving skill to children who traditionally haven’t had access to swimming instruction,” said Sr. Edna Lonergan, founder and president of St. Ann Center.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of Black children, 58 percent of Latino and 40 percent of white children have little or no swimming ability and are at risk of water-related injury or death.

In the near future, the Bucyrus Campus swimming program will be expanded to include private lessons.

St. Ann Center is world-renowned for its unique model of intergenerational care—providing day care to children, frail elders and adults with disabilities all under one roof. The center’s childcare program is now enrolling, and financial assistance is available.

For more about St. Ann Center’s swimming program, call 414-977-5015. For information on enrolling for childcare, call 414-210-2438.