Classes are back in session. The students are all moved in. Campus is back to busy and the LMU Pool has just unveiled its Fall 2011 Schedule. Continually voted Claiborne County’s Favorite Place to Swim by readers of the Claiborne Progress, the pool offers a host of activities for the young and young at heart.
The pool has added some important programming this Fall, including swim lessons for all ages. One of the biggest additions is Children’s Swim Coordinator Kathy Francisco. Kathy will instruct the swimming lessons and plan special program aimed specifically at the youngest members of our community. The move underscores LMU commitment to building on the recreation of the area.
As a mother of two young daughters, I can appreciate the availability of swim lessons. But like most parents I struggled with deciding when my daughters were old enough for swim lessons. Like most aspects of child rearing, there are many schools of thought on the appropriate age and developmental stage for swimming.
I think the key is to remember that learning to swim doesn’t make anyone drown-proof. It only takes seconds for a child to drown, so no matter how comfortable you or your child may be around water, it’s a parent’s duty to be vigilant. I grew up around lakes and pools and I don’t remember a time when I was uncomfortable around water. My husband’s experience with water is limited and though he does swim, he has never been comfortable in the water. I was insistent from very early on, that our girls would take after me when it comes to swimming, I never want them to fear something that has given me such joy growing up.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has said that developmentally, a four-year old is ready for swim lessons. Until recently, the AAP was against aquatic programs and swimming lessons for younger toddlers and preschoolers between the ages of one and four. The group still recommends that ALL children who are four years and older begin to take swimming lessons; however, it is no longer totally against aquatic programs for tots younger than four.
In the new children’s programming at the LMU pool, Francisco is now offering parent-child water familiarization classes. The parent-tot class is nothing new to the pool. Director of Aquatics Services Floyde Anne Gardner presented a similar program for faculty and staff a couple years ago. In fact, my daughters and I were a part of it.
Francisco will offer five more sessions of swim lessons this fall. The lessons are an hour in length and are held on Mondays and Wednesdays. Each session runs over two weeks and includes four hours of instruction. The cost per session is $75 for swim lessons (children or adult) or $55 for parent/child water familiarization classes designed for children under the age of three. The remaining sessions for swim lessons include Session B: September 12, 14, 19 and 21; Session C: September 26, 28, October 3 and 5; Session D: October 17, 19, 24 and 26; Session E: November 7, 9, 14 and 17; and Session F: November 28, 30 and December 5 and 7. Francisco also plans to present Friday Night Family Specials as the season progresses.
Remember, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends swimming lessons for anyone over the age of four. Even if you’re an adult, it’s not too late to learn. Swimming is an important skill that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Swimming also offers a low-impact workout that will help keep you fit. Besides, one you know how to swim, then you can take advantage of all the other great aquatic programming at LMU.
For more information on all of the LMU Pool programming, click on www.lmunet.edu/curstudents/pool/ .