Woman in pool during swim lessons with children sitting on the edge of the pool surface

Local Organizations Announce Partnership to Provide Free Swimming Lessons to Eatonville Children

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 13, 2023)Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s Joe R. Lee Branch, City of Winter Park Parks & Recreation Department, Town of Eatonville and Winter Park YMCA announce a partnership to provide free swimming lessons to children in Eatonville. With Florida consistently ranking in the top five states for drowning, these local organizations recognize the importance of water safety and access to swimming education.

By combining their resources and expertise, this collaboration will leverage the strengths of each entity. Boys & Girls Clubs will provide roundtrip transportation for the elementary- and middle-school-aged children. Winter Park YMCA and City of Winter Park will both provide their swimming pools and trained aquatics staff.

Since its founding in 2007, this program has been led by volunteers. In the summer of 2010 Marilyn Nelson with Winter Park YMCA stepped into the lead-volunteer role and has faithfully led it for the last 12 years. To support the program, volunteers from Winter Park High School and Blue Dolphin Swim Team will help with the lessons.

The program will begin for middle schoolers at Winter Park YMCA in June and expand in July for elementary schoolers at Winter Park Community Center.

The Eatonville swim program is the third in a series of partnership programs Winter Park YMCA has helped establish. Its Splash, Float, Swim! program is a partnership with City of Winter Park and provides free lessons to kindergarteners, and its partnership with Lakemont Elementary provides swimming lessons to students of all ages.

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About Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

Since 1944 Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida has provided children ages six to  18 with a safe place to learn and grow during non-school hours. Its membership totals more than 11,000 young people at 40 Clubs and middle school sites in six counties. The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Learn more at www.bgccf.org or facebook.com/bgccf.

About Winter Park YMCA
Opened in 1968, Winter Park YMCA is part of the YMCA of Central Florida. The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits, serving more than 415,000 Central Floridians per year through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives and communities, it operates 22 YMCA locations across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties. This mission is expanded beyond the four walls of the Y through community-based programs to combat chronic disease; boost children’s after-school safety and learning; and strengthen neighborhoods. To learn more, visit https://ymcacf.org/locations/winterpark/. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

Media Contact: Betsy Owens


[email protected]

City of Winter Park

Media Contact: Clarissa Howard


[email protected]

Town of Eatonville

Media Contact: Nichole Bonds


[email protected]

Winter Park YMCA

Media Contact: Tanisha Morris


[email protected]