I recently had the opportunity to witness a neat program first-hand. The program all came about after a woman driving by Lake Okabena in the summer of 2011 heard screams for help, jumped out of her vehicle and rescued a woman and a child from drowning. This local heroine is named Jami Cummings. I can’t even begin to imagine the rush of adrenaline as she ran into the lake and became a lifesaver. The community realized something needed to be done to prevent drownings, and lots of people pulled together with their time and resources to make 2 weeks of swimming lessons for every 2nd grader in Nobles County a reality. The initial program was deemed a success, and has now become an annual occurrence.
My son’s class is currently participating. He attends Worthington Christian School, and is in a split first and second grade classroom. A chaperone is needed each day so his teacher can stay in school to teach the first graders. I really wanted to see how it all worked so I was happy to volunteer. My 3-year-old, Ava, was displeased that the pool was not an option for her but enjoyed the bus ride nonetheless.
My son’s class had 10 kids and St. Mary’s Catholic School had 14. There were 3 instructors in the water, with one lifeguard watching as well as the aquatics director. Kids were split up according to ability. I attended on the second day of lessons and most of the kids were eager to continue their lessons. For about 40 minutes, they practiced front floats, back floats, and treading water, and covered some basic pool safety as well.
While the most important part of the program is learning to swim, it definitely is a class-bonding activity as well. The kids are certainly creating life-long memories. A huge thank-you goes out to the many sponsors of the program. For more information, visit http://www.ymcaworthington.org/index.php/learn-to-swim.
P.S. In case you are wondering, I am 14 weeks pregnant and still feeling fantastic. Thanks so much for all the well wishes!