Swimming is a great life skill, ideal form of exercise and a challenging sport.

Water safety and the prevention of drowning are main reasons swim lessons are important, but beyond that, there are numerous further benefits swimming provides in early childhood development. Second-grade students at Mark Twain Primary School in Kankakee are not only reaping those benefits, but spending time at the pool really floats their boat.

The Kankakee Area YMCA began the partnership with Mark Twain last school year. This year, all second graders have the opportunity to participate in Splash, nine lessons over a four-and-a-half-week period.

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