Evanston/North Shore

Evanston Swims!

We know that there are a large number of children in our communities who do not know how to swim.  A survey of Evanston families revealed that just 17 percent of first graders were proficient swimmers. Almost a quarter had no swimming experience -- a basic and vital life skill for any child, especially living in a lakefront community.

Evanston Swims!, a partnership between YWCA Evanston/North Shore, McGaw YMCA, and District 65, seeks to remedy that need by providing all second grade children in Evanston with free water safety instruction and swim lessons. On District 65's early dismissal days once a month, second graders whose families choose to participate in the program are bussed to YWCA Evanston/North Shore (or to Three Crowns Park, which provides additional pool space to YWCA) and to McGaw YMCA.

Seven lessons during the school year isn’t enough time to teach most kids how to swim well, but it is enough to provide essential water safety skills. It also gives us an opportunity to evaluate the kids who need extra support so we can continue with them when the year is over. While Evanston Swims! is limited to Evanston second graders, full and partial scholarships are available through the Oswald Roper Memorial Fund for families who want to continue, but cannot afford the cost of swim lessons.

Donations to Evanston Swims! may be sent to YWCA Evanston/North Shore (be sure to include “Evanston Swims! Fund” in the memo line) at 1215 Church Street, Evanston, IL 60201.


Learn more, get safe, get involved, empower yourself.