Yaya and student celebrate after toddler swim lessons

Toddler swim lessons are worth it

By now, you’ve probably figured out that we offer toddler swim lessons. I’ve heard the service we offer get called everything from essential life-saving skills to torture and waterboarding. 

I get it. To onlookers – sometimes strangers and sometimes family – infant/toddler swim lessons appear cruel and uncalled for. The new student is “taken” from their parent and introduced to the pool, many times kicking and screaming. This is just the first of many scary events over the next few weeks.

Next, the precious little one hears the call to action – “Ready…GO!” and suddenly, these little ones grow eight arms and ten legs. They try to cling on to anything they can latch onto to no avail. The instructor hears them take a quick breath to scream and that’s the cue. Into the water, face first they go, only to be lifted out of the water by another strange person, who then repeats the process.

Then, they go onto their backs. The screams that were stifled by the water at first are full tilt now. What child likes to be put on their back in the water. Really? And then they’re brought back the next day for more?

To the average person, that doesn’t sound like much fun or even necessary. Maybe even unsettling. But, listen to the stories from the parents who brought their children here in the first place. One momma told me the story of the day she was working around her pool. She said she looked up to see that her 3-year-old had stepped off into the water over her head.

This could have ended in disaster, but the mother stood amazed as she watched her precious little one put her newly learned, life-saving skills into action and reach safety on her own.

That’s why we do what we do at The School of Yaya’s Fishes.

Have you ever heard a child drown? No, and you probably won’t. Witnesses of children falling into a pool have said that all they heard was a soft “plunk” and then nothing. No sound at all. Drowning is silent, and it could happen anywhere – even in a bathtub.

The next time you are deciding whether to invest in infant/toddler swim lessons, know that they are worth it. Remember this: If they are screaming, they are breathing.

Here’s to your little one earning their fins!

Yaya

Help us share these vital survival lessons with other children in Northeast Arkansas by donating to the scholarship fund, made possible by the SAFE Swim Foundation.

BRIGHTSwim Bright Swimwear line

Announcing new bright swimwear line!

Hey there, water lovers! We’ve got some exciting news to share. We’ve teamed up with The SAFE Swim Foundation to bring you the coolest, bright swimwear line around — BRIGHTSwim!

Imagine your little ones rocking bold, ’90s-inspired colors and patterns that not only look awesome but also keep them visible in the water. With BRIGHTSwim, safety and style go hand in hand!

This bright swimwear line was created in collaboration with the SAFE Swim Foundation to spread awareness about the need for high-visibility swimsuits for children. So, while your kiddos are having a blast splashing around, you can rest easy knowing they’re well-protected.

But remember, while BRIGHTSwim boosts visibility, it’s not a substitute for keeping a close eye on your little swimmers. Safety first, always!

So, what are you waiting for? Dive into summer with BRIGHTSwim Swimwear and make a splash wherever you go! Check out the collection at Yaya’s Bait Shop Boutique today. And don’t forget, when it comes to water safety, visibility is key! 🌊😎

Swimming lessons can be a game-changer for kids with Autism

Swimming lessons can be a game-changer for kids with Autism

Alright, let’s talk about something cool: swimming lessons for children with autism. You know, it’s not just about having fun in the pool; it’s a fantastic way to help kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) thrive. So, why are swimming lessons such a big deal for these awesome kids? Let’s break it down.

Splashin’ into Physical Benefits

First off, swimming is like a superhero for their bodies. The water’s buoyancy makes moving around easier and lessens the strain on muscles and joints. That’s huge, especially for kids who might struggle with coordination or have sensory sensitivities. Plus, all that splashing and paddling builds strength, endurance, and coordination – it’s like a workout that feels more like playtime!

Sensory Sensations

Ever notice how calming it feels to be in the water? Well, for kids with autism, it’s even more amazing. Swimming helps them deal with sensory issues – like being sensitive to sounds or textures. The water provides a soothing environment where they can feel more relaxed and comfortable. Over time, it can help them handle sensory issues better and feel more at ease in their bodies.

Make Waves Socially

Swimming isn’t just a solo sport; it’s a chance to hang out with friends and make new ones. Swim lessons give children the chance to practice taking turns, follow instructions, and just have a blast with their instructors and other children in the pool. It’s not just about swimming; it’s about building social skills and feeling like part of a team.

Chill Out Emotionally

You know those days when everything feels a bit too much? Well, swimming can be a lifesaver. The water has this magical calming effect that helps kids chill out and let go of stress. It’s like hitting the reset button for their emotions. Plus, swimming gives them a chance to express themselves freely – whether they’re splashing around with joy or just floating peacefully.

Flex Those Brain Muscles

Swimming isn’t just good for the body; it’s a workout for the brain too! Following instructions, paying attention, and figuring out new moves – it’s like a brain gym session. And all that splish-splashing? It’s a fun way to work on communication skills too. Whether they’re asking to go down the slide, off the diving board, or chatting with their swim buddies, every splash is a chance to learn and grow.

So, What’s the Big Picture?

Swimming lessons aren’t just about swimming laps; they’re about unlocking potential and helping kids with autism shine. From building strength and confidence to making friends and feeling calmer, swimming offers a whole bunch of benefits wrapped up in one awesome activity.

The staff at The School of Yaya’s Fishes loves getting the opportunity to work with children on the spectrum! Get your little one our schedule today by texting us at (870) 206-0069. Let’s dive in together!

Sometimes we have to do hard things

“Sometimes we have to do hard things.”

One of our mommas gently reminds her child of this during each lesson.

I know these survival swim lessons are not easy for parents to watch, and some of our students start out not liking the process, but these lessons are crucial. They could save a life.

According to the CDC, formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88%.

Yes, they may cry. They may call out for you. They may cough or sputter, but all of this means they are breathing. They are alive, and they are learning how to rescue themselves.

These lessons can be uncomfortable to watch, but the alternative could be far worse.

Sometimes we have to do hard things.

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LINK: What exactly *is* survival swim?

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Please consider donating to the SAFE Swim Foundation. All donations go toward providing swim lessons to families who may otherwise be able to afford them. Learn more at SAFESwimFoundation.com.

Their swimsuit needs to be bright in color!

As the temperatures rise and the sun shines brighter, it’s time to gear up for some serious water fun! But before you hit the waves, let’s talk about an important aspect of swim safety that often goes unnoticed: swimsuit colors.

Did you know that the color of your child’s swimsuit could affect their visibility in emergencies? It’s true! Blues and greens, while stylish, can blend into the water, making it harder for lifeguards or fellow swimmers to spot someone in trouble. 😱

But fear not! There’s a simple solution: opt for vibrant hues like yellow, orange, or pink. These eye-catching colors make it much easier to spot your little swimmer amidst the waves, ensuring a safer swim for everyone. 🌈 And don’t forget to double down on safety with a snug life jacket and always swim with a buddy or under adult supervision. Safety first, always!

***Shop our BRIGHTSwim Swimwear line now for fun colors and patterns inspired by the 90s: https://bit.ly/3uF4O5Q

We recommend the Speedo Classic Swim Vest or a similar style with no padding around the neck when kiddos will be playing near water. For supervised fun IN the water, we recommend a wetsuit; these are naturally buoyant and help kiddos maintain proper swim posture.

Looking to brush up on those swimming skills? Dive into summer with The School of Yaya’s Fishes! 🐠💦 We’re now enrolling new little fishies for an exciting summer adventure, and for our graduates, we’re offering a special one-week refresher course to get back in the swim of things. 🌊

For more info or to splash into action, shoot us a text at (870) 206-0069! Let’s make this summer fin-tastic!

What exactly is survival swim?

What exactly *IS* survival swim??

Water-related accidents can happen unexpectedly and within a matter of seconds, posing a significant danger to children. As a matter of fact, drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s where we come in.

Survival swimming is a specialized skill that equips children (and adults) with the ability to ensure their own safety. The School of Yaya’s Fishes trains our students to save themselves in water-related emergencies. Unlike traditional swimming lessons that focus on stroke technique and recreational swimming, survival swim focuses primarily on water survival skills and building water confidence.

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Key Elements of Survival Swim:

1. Breath Control and Submersion

Survival swim teaches children to hold their breath underwater and remain calm when submerged. This training enables them to respond appropriately in unexpected situations, such as accidentally falling into the water.

2. Floating Techniques

One of the fundamental skills taught in survival swim is floating. Children learn to assume a floating position on their backs, which allows them to rest and breathe while awaiting rescue or until they can reach a safe location.

3. Swim and Movement

Our program focuses on teaching basic swimming skills to enable children to move themselves through the water toward safety. This includes kicking, reaching, and propelling themselves using their arms and legs.

Our program teaches our students each of these key elements through repetition, gradual skill progression, and age-appropriate teaching methods to ensure effective learning.

Our survival swim program is offered by two very capable swim instructors, certified in Pediatric Life Support (PALS), and their assistants. Classes are conducted in a one-on-one or small group setting to provide personalized attention and tailored instruction.

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If you’re ready to dive in, send us a text at (870) 206-0069 to get registered. We are currently accepting registrations for our next wave of students starting on March 4.

We’re also trying to raise funds for SAFE Swim Foundation in order to gift this skill to children whose families may not be able to afford our lessons. Please consider making a donation at SAFESwimFoundation.com

Swim scholarships available through Every Child a Swimmer

SAFE Swim Foundation and The School of Yaya’s Fishes have joined forces with Every Child a Swimmer to offer valuable swim scholarships to children from families who might otherwise face financial barriers to formal swim lessons.

The collaboration between these three organizations marks a significant step towards enhancing water safety awareness and empowering children in Northeast Arkansas. Through this partnership, two swim scholarships will be awarded each month, enabling children to receive essential survival swim training at The School of Yaya’s Fishes in Lake City, Arkansas.

“The School of Yaya’s Fishes and SAFE Swim Foundation are so excited about this collaboration!” exclaimed Owner of The School of Yaya’s Fishes and Founder of SAFE Swim Foundation Terri “Yaya” Mommsen. “This collaboration perfectly aligns with our shared mission of promoting water safety awareness and providing deserving children with access to quality swim education. Together, we are dedicated to creating SAFE Swim Zones within our Northeast Arkansas communities.”

To be eligible for these swim scholarships, the following is required:

  1. Parents must commit to the lesson plan, which consists of 5 days per week for 3-5 weeks, based on individual skill acquisition. Lessons will take place at The School of Yaya’s Fishes in Lake City, Arkansas.
  2. The child must possess the ability to crawl and be at a “learn to swim” level.
  3. Financial need must be demonstrated through proof of eligibility based on the current Income Eligibility Guidelines for Free & Reduced-Price Meals, as established by the Department of Health.
  4. Applicants cannot reapply for the same child within the same calendar year.

While submission of a scholarship application does not guarantee funding, the SAFE Swim Foundation is committed to thoroughly reviewing each application and giving it full consideration. Additional information may be requested as part of the application process.

For families seeking to provide their children with the invaluable life skill of swimming, the scholarship application can be accessed through the following link: www.safeswimfoundation.com/scholarship

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About Every Child a Swimmer (ECAS):

Every Child a Swimmer, a mission of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, endeavors to educate and train every child in the world in water safety. This initiative recognizes swimming as a vital life skill with the potential to save lives.

About SAFE Swim Foundation:

The SAFE Swim Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3), is committed to delivering essential water safety education, particularly for infants, toddlers, and children. The foundation is dedicated to breaking down barriers to drowning prevention by ensuring access to resources for children from diverse backgrounds, including those with limited resources or facing physical or mental challenges. The foundation firmly believes that every child deserves the opportunity to benefit from drowning prevention resources.

About The School of Yaya’s Fishes:

The School of Yaya’s Fishes is committed to the safety of children and helping them develop independence, confidence, fitness, and discipline in the water through survival swim training. The school is operated by two registered nurses with certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Amy N. Geswein
Director of Marketing
SAFE Swim Foundation
The School of Yaya’s Fishes

amy@yayasfishes.com
(870) 565-3733

Enroll now for Refresher Week!

With the start of the 2024 swim session, it’s time to start thinking about pool safety and ensuring our children are prepared for a summer filled with fun in the water. That’s why we’re thrilled to share that we are now taking enrollments for the SAFE Swim 2 Refresher Week.

Refresher Week will allow your little fishies to get reacquainted with the water, refresh their swimming skills, and reinforce their understanding of vital safety measures.

Registering for SAFE Swim 2 Classes is quick and easy. Text us at 870-206-0069 with your child’s name and your contact information. Our dedicated team will assist you throughout the registration process and answer any questions.

Remember, safety comes first when it comes to our children’s well-being. By enrolling them in SAFE Swim 2 Classes, we are taking a proactive step to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to enjoy the water safely. Let’s make this summer memorable and filled with laughter, joy, and worry-free swimming experiences.

Thank you for your attention, and we look forward to seeing your families again!

Follow us on Facebook for more announcements!

Adore in ’24 Scholarship Giveaway

Merry Christmas to my family and friends!!! I am SO excited to announce the Adore in ’24 scholarship giveaway!

To begin, It has been a wonderful year.

We moved my mom and dad here from Stuttgart. It is such a blessing to have them close. Members of my family and staff have had surgeries and shingles but have healed well. My son’s and husband’s business together, On Point Drilling and Trenching, is growing. AND many children (and children at heart) have been trained in survival swim techniques at The School of Yaya’s Fishes.

I am so grateful for what the Lord is doing in my life. I am truly blessed! Thank you, fishy mamas and daddies, for trusting me with your precious little ones. The Lord’s Blessing on you all!

This year we will choose a School of Yaya’s Fishes LIFETIME RECIPIENT for Survival Swim and beyond training!

To enter:

1️⃣Follow [@yayasfishes] – the ONLY account that will contact winners.

2️⃣Like this post.

3️⃣Tag two friends!

You have until 10 a.m. on Dec. 28 to enter!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Come Let us ADORE in ‘24🙌🎁🎄❤️🙌🎁

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OFFICIAL RULES:



The entry period for the Adore in ‘24 contest runs from Sunday, December 24, 2023 at 5 p.m. until Thursday, December 28, 2023 at 10 a.m.

How to enter:

To enter, parents and legal guardians will comment on the Adore in ’24 contest announcement Facebook post from The School of Yaya’s Fishes Facebook page.

Registrants may enter to win once per family.

The prize:

The prize is LIFETIME access to survival swim lessons and swim training from The School of Yaya’s Fishes. The value of the prize varies, based on the use of lessons. Typically, the full tuition of SAFE Swim 1 is $125 per week, and subsequent lessons in the SAFE Swim 2 and SAFE Swim 3 curriculum are $25 per session.

For SAFE Swim 1, Survival Swim Training sessions are every day Monday through Friday in 10-to-15-minute sessions for the length of the student’s training. While the average length of training is four weeks, this timeline may vary, based on each student’s rate of improvement and task comprehension.

The drawing:

The contest winner will be drawn after 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023. The winner will be announced and contacted by a Facebook private message before the close of business that day. Upon contact, a representative of The School of Yaya’s Fishes will work with the winning guardian to schedule lessons.

The winners of Adore in ‘24 will be selected at random from the pool of registrations.

Who can win:

Ultimately, the winning scholarship recipient must be below the age of 18 and able to crawl to qualify.

Only one winner is permitted per household within 60 days of after a household has a winner.

The School of Yaya’s Fishes and SAFE Swim Foundation restricts winners to the immediately serviceable area – within the Arkansas counties of Clay, Randolph, Lawerence, Greene, Craighead, Mississippi, Jackson, Poinsett, Cross, and Crittenden; and the Missouri counties of Dunklin, Pemiscot, and New Madrid.  Any means of transportation to redeem the scholarship will not be provided. The responsibility of cost to travel rests solely with the scholarship winner. Neither Terri (Yaya) Mommsen, nor a member of her Staff, will travel to provide lessons to a winning family. Survival Swim Training sessions must be performed at The School of Yaya’s Fishes facility.

No purchase is necessary. Prizes are not redeemable or transferable for cash. Scholarships and paid lessons are not retroactive and cannot cover the already-paid tuition of a student who has previously been through the program. The School of Yaya’s Fishes and SAFE Swim Foundation shall have no further responsibility in connection with the scholarship if the scholarship winner, for any reason, cannot or decides not to use any of the survival swim lessons provided.

12 Days of Giveaways Header

12 Days of Giveaways – Spreading the holiday cheer!

Get ready for a swimmingly festive holiday season as we kick off our 12 Days of Giveaways event! Starting December 12, we’re unwrapping 12 incredible prizes over 12 days, leading up to the grand finale – a FULL SAFE Swim Scholarship for one lucky family! 🎁🏊‍♂️

Here’s how to join the holiday fun:

  • 🕗 Timing: At 8 AM each day, we’ll post a new giveaway on our Facebook page!
  • ⏰ Deadline: You have until 11:59 PM the same day to enter for a chance to win!
  • 🎉 Winners: We’ll randomly select a winner and announce them the following morning.

Remember, the ONLY account that will contact you if you win is this one: @yayasfishes. Keep an eye on your messages!

Spread the joy by tagging your friends in this post and turning on your notifications, so you never miss a giveaway. 🎅 If you’re new here, hit that follow button – we’re about to make a splash this holiday! 🌈✨

Let’s kick off the festivities on Dec. 12 and share the Christmas spirit together! 🎄🎁

—OFFICIAL RULES—

The entry period for 12 Days of Giveaways contest runs from Tuesday, December 12 at 8 a.m. until Saturday, December 23, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

To enter, parents and legal guardians will comment on daily Facebook posts from The School of Yaya’s Fishes Facebook page.

Registrants may enter to win once per day, per family.

Contest winners will be drawn after 8 a.m. on the day after each post. The winners will be announced and contacted by a Facebook private message before the close of business that day. Upon contact, a representative of The School of Yaya’s Fishes will work with the winning guardian to arrange a time to pick up each prize.

The prizes are as follows:
  1. BRIGHTSwim Swimsuit of your choosing, value varies depending on selected garment.
  2. 3 pack of Finding Dory Diving Toys, valued at $16 based on retail cost.
  3. Free Photo Package, valued at $99 based on cost of package.
  4. 6 pack of Paw Patrol Diving Toys, valued at $17 based on retail cost.
  5. FREE SAFE Swim 2 Day, valued at $25 based on cost of lessons.
  6. 3 pack of Little Mermaid Diving Toys, valued at $12 based on retail cost.
  7. Official Rash Guard, value varies depending on selected garment.
  8. $20 discount on lessons, valued at $20 based on amount of certificate.
  9. 3 pack of Frozen 2 Dive Toys, valued at $12 based on retail cost.
  10. One FREE week of SAFE Swim 1, valued at $115 based on cost of lessons.
  11. Half-off SAFE Swim 1 Lessons, approximated value at $230 based on cost of lessons.
  12. FULL SAFE Swim 1 Scholarship, approximated value at $460 based on cost of lessons.

For SAFE Swim 1, Survival Swim Training sessions are every day Monday through Friday in 10-to-15-minute sessions for the length of the student’s training. While the average length of training is four weeks, this timeline may vary, based on each student’s rate of improvement and task comprehension.

The winners of the 12 Days of Giveaways will be selected at random from the pool of registrations.

Ultimately, the winning scholarship recipient must be below the age of 18 and able to crawl to qualify.

Only one winner is permitted per household within 60 days of after a household has a winner.

Who can win:

The School of Yaya’s Fishes and SAFE Swim Foundation restricts winners to the immediately serviceable area – within the Arkansas counties of Clay, Randolph, Lawerence, Greene, Craighead, Mississippi, Jackson, Poinsett, Cross, and Crittenden; and the Missouri counties of Dunklin, Pemiscot, and New Madrid.  Any means of transportation to redeem the scholarship will not be provided. The responsibility of cost to travel rests solely with the scholarship winner. Neither Terri (Yaya) Mommsen, nor a member of her Staff, will travel to provide lessons to a winning family. Survival Swim Training sessions must be performed at The School of Yaya’s Fishes facility.

No purchase is necessary. Prizes are not redeemable or transferable for cash. Scholarships and paid lessons are not retroactive and cannot cover the already-paid tuition of a student who has previously been through the program. The School of Yaya’s Fishes and SAFE Swim Foundation shall have no further responsibility in connection with the scholarship if the scholarship winner, for any reason, cannot or decides not to use any of the survival swim lessons provided.