Children in the New York metro area can now learn to be safe in the water using the special method developed by four-time Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg. With the opening of the Shorefront Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy at the Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn, New York, JCC Association and Krayzelburg are bringing the successful swim school to JCCs and JCC camps on the East Coast. The original Krayzelburg swim school at the Westside JCC in Los Angeles now enrolls over one thousand children.
Drowning is one of the primary causes of death among children under five, so learning to stay afloat can save lives. “Kids want to spend their time in the water, so making sure that they are water safe is one of our main objectives,” Krayzelburg says. “By using our method, they develop a sense of comfort in the water. Then we can go on to teach them strokes.” The Krayzelburg swim schools work with babies as young as six months, along with toddlers and older children. The Shorefront Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy is a year-round program with rolling admissions. “JCC Association is excited to be part of this revolutionary method of teaching swimming,” says Steve Becker, JCC Association’s director of health and wellness services. “This new program will become a great resource for JCC aquatic departments looking to distinguish themselves.” Becker coached Krayzelburg when the young swimmer arrived in the United States from Ukraine in the 1980s.
Children attending three JCC day camps will also have the opportunity to learn the Krayzelburg method this summer. Swim academy trainers will be teaching the system to the aquatic instructors at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds on Staten Island. The Staten Island JCC, the 14th Street Y of the Educational Alliance, and the Edith & Carl Marks JCH of Bensonhurst day camps all use the Staten Island Kaufmann Campground. “This was a great opportunity for us. We want to improve the aquatics at all our sites,” says Lenny Silberman, CEO of Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds. Sixteen affiliated JCCs use the three Kaufmann sites in the New York area for their day camps.
Krayzelburg is expecting to open another JCC swim academy at the JCC at Milken in West Hills, California later this summer, as soon as their pool renovation is completed.