Child Learn to Swim

Child Learn

to Swim

Learning how to swim is a great activity for children of all ages. Classes are fun, teach important water safety skills, encourage teamwork, and promote exercise and healthy habits. City Swim Project offers swim lessons for children ages 3-18 at multiple locations in Buffalo, NY.

Cost and Benefits:

We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to swim. Most of our members can register for swim lessons at no cost. See below for registration information.

City Swim Project Members Receive:

  • Pool access
  • Swim instruction or coaching
  • Swimsuit
  • Cap
  • Goggles
  • One team T-shirt annually
  • Academic support
  • Meet entry and splash fees covered (competitive-level swimmers)


Contact us at 716-768-1530 or

How our swim lessons work.

How our swim

lessons work.

Our learn-to-swim lessons are designed with the safety and progress of each child in mind. Each class has at least one coach in the pool for every 6 swimmers. There is also a lifeguard on duty at all times. Learn-to-Swim skills must be achieved for each level.

Red Caps

Submerged face.

Open eyes and retrieve an object from the bottom.

Blowing bubbles with air exchange.

Relaxed head bobs (10x)

Front (F) float and recover. (10s)

Back (B) float and recover. (10s)

Rollovers F to B and B to F.

Front and back streamline glide off wall. (10 ft.)

Streamline Kick (F and B) 15ft.

Freestyle and Backstroke 30 ft.

Yellow Caps

Side swim left and right sides. (25 ft.)

Freestyle (25 yds.)

Backstroke (25 yds.)

Breaststroke (25 yds.)

Dolphin kick (25 yds.)

Tread water (3 min.)

Blue Caps

Freestyle (50 yd.)

Backstroke (50 yd.)

Breaststroke (50 yd.)

Butterfly (25 yds.)

Starts: Sitting dive, Kneeling dive, Stride dive, and Standing dive from the deck.

Streamline off wall with dolphin kick for 4 seconds.

Turns: Freestyle and Backstroke

Tread water (10 min.)

Two hand touches for breast and butterfly stroke.

USA Skills

Step/Jump into water over their head and return to the surface. (All levels)

Turn around and orientate to safety. (All levels)

Rollover and float/tread water. (All levels)

Combine breath control and forward movement in the water for at least 25 yards. (Yellows/blues)

Exit the water. (All levels)

Perform all the above skills while clothed. (Yellows and blues)

Gain a general understanding and respect for the water, and its hazards. (All levels)

Know how to recognize a person in trouble, safe ways to assist those in trouble, and how and when to call for help. (All levels)

Locations and schedules.

Locations and


City Swim Project holds practices at multiple pools around the City of Buffalo. Please note that schedules and instruction levels vary by location, and some pools may be reserved for our partner organizations.

William-Emslie Family YMCA

William-Emslie Family YMCA

William-Emslie Family YMCA

585 William St, Buffalo, NY 14206


How to apply.

To be eligible for free or reduced registration, please provide one of the following:

  • We offer free or reduced membership for families based on income or proof of financial assistance. To be eligible, provide one of the documents listed below with your registration application. For more information, download the City Swim Project’s Membership Fee Structure.

    • A copy of your current 1040 Federal Tax Return with Social Security Numbers removed, will be used to appropriately determine membership fee costs. If your household income is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, lessons are free.
    • Swim lessons are free if a photocopy of an approved letter from a financial assistance program is provided, such as:
      • Aid to Families with Dependent Children
      • Social Security Disability Insurance
      • Food Stamps
      • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
      • Supplemental Security Income
      • Women, Infant and Children’s Program
      • Medicaid
      • Children’s Health Insurance Plan
      • Section 8 Public Housing
      • Home Energy Assistance Program
      • Direct Notification Letter from NYS for Free/Reduced Lunch

    If you do not qualify for any of the standards above, you will be required to provide payment for each registered child. Cost per child is listed on this link. Your adjusted household income on your IRS 1040 Tax Form will determine the cost of membership.