May 19, 2011

Kristen Formet has been with the Y for 10 years. She is a Safe Start Master Instructor and loves her job. When her daughter Madison was 13 months old she completed the ISR Survival program (Safe Start’s founding partner). After Madison’s lessons, Kristen was amazed at what her young daughter learned.

“I immediately researched becoming an instructor. Being a stay at home mom, I was thrilled to hear that Dr. Phillips Charities was partnering with ISR and the Y of Central Florida to bring Safe Start to our communities,” she said. “I had always believed the Y and their impact in the communities allowing all to participate in programs regardless of their ability to pay for them.”

Kristen said it was a perfect fit. She has been teaching children M-F ever since. The program has gotten over 37 letters from parents who said their child used the skills they learned in Safe Start to save themselves from an aquatic emergency.

When Kristen was asked what her favorite thing was about Safe Start, she responded, “Knowing that I am playing a part in keeping children safer and seeing them go from crying their first day, to having students who cry when they have to get out of the water.”

Safe Start is unique because the students are so young. Beginning at the age of 6 months, children are taught to turn from face down in the water to face up and into a comfortable back float position; at 12 months old, children learn how to swim, rotate onto the back and float, and then turn back over and continue swimming to safety. The private lessons are M-F, 10 minutes per day, for 6 weeks. Find a Safe Start program at a Y near you. Call Safe Start at 407-599-0167 for more information.