Three Lakes grads, YMCA team to provide swim lessons
Members of the Three Lakes High School class of 2018 approached the YMCA of the Northwoods last May to discuss an idea they had to impact the future generation. Their idea also brought back a fond memory from their own childhoods. As third graders the students attended swimming lessons at the Y.
“We wanted to do something more impactful than put up a bench or put a plaque on the wall,” explained class president Grace Stefonik. “When we were kids, we thought swim lessons were just part of school. We didn’t realize it was funded by a local donor. When we found out, we wanted to be that donor.”
Money the students raised in junior high gave them the ability to pay for at least two years of swim lessons at the Y for every third grade student in the Three Lakes school district. The lessons began Jan. 8 and run through Feb. 12.
“Educating children about how to be safe around water is just as important as teaching them to look both ways before they cross the street,” said Matt Steingraber, Y aquatics director. “The Y teaches children of all ages and backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared, and this practice not only saves lives, it builds confidence.”
2018 vice president Maggie Servent said she met Stefonik and other students for the first time as the elementary schools in Three Lakes and Sugar Camp attended lessons together, saying the lessons started friendships that will last a lifetime, “just from playing and learning in the water.”