The Y is proud to launch the new Safety Around Water program for second grade students in St. Cloud Area School District 742. The program is free for all participants thanks to the generous support of sponsors, including Partner Sponsors Gate City Bank and Pilgrim’s Cold Spring.  

Drowning is the second leading cause of death and injury among children ages 1-14 in Minnesota. According to the USA Swimming Foundation, 79% of children in homes with incomes less than $50,000 have little-to-no swimming ability due to limited access to quality swim instruction. This was the motivation to launch the Safety Around Water program in the St. Cloud community and equip kids with the tools they need to be confident in and around water.

In these classes, children are introduced to swimming basics and learn fundamental water safety skills, including how to identify safe places to swim.

In the News

“Swimming is a wonderful sport and a great recreational and exercise option that can be carried into adulthood. We wanted to ensure access to this program for ALL second graders and were able to reduce any financial barriers through the wonderful support of sponsors. We are so grateful and can’t wait to get the program started.”
Kaitlin Pohland, Aquatics Director

To learn more and support the Safety Around Water program, contact SuLynn Fitch, Fund Development Director, at or 320-253-2664.


Partner Sponsor

$25,000+ annually




Minnesota Department of Education

United Way of Central Minnesota



Central Minnesota Community Foundation Difference Makers

Janet and Tom Grones




Gilleland Chevrolet/Select Heartland Chevy Dealers

AIS Planning

This programming is partially funded with a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education using federal funding, CFDA 84.027A, Special Education - Grants to States.  

Pilgrim’s Cold Spring announced a $575,000 investment in Stearns County through Hometown Strong – a nationwide community investment program allocating $20 million from Pilgrim’s, which is part of a $100 million contribution from JBS USA – and has since worked closely with local leaders to identify where the funds can best help meet immediate and longer-term community needs. Pilgrim’s Cold Spring’s $50,000 sponsorship of the Safety Around Water program is allocated from this sum.