A month ago some of these children were so fearful they sat and shook on the side of the pool and had to be coaxed into the pool. Others had much bravado, but flailed in the pool. Today every one of the students in the two YMCA 2nd Grade classes I watched, swam across the pool. Yes, across the pool unassisted. (In the pictures you’ll note they’re wearing life jackets. This is only because they were also talking safety outside the pool and on other bodies of water too.) It was impressive. The kids beamed with well-earned pride, their parents beamed, the instructors beamed and the spectators beamed.
More than one parent watching their child swim across the pool was watching something they themselves can not do, but they each wanted desperately for their children not to be in the same position. As parent Marcos Esparza noted as he watched his son Nico learn about water safety, “I think there are also adults that could benefit from this.” His son was comfortable in the water before starting classes, but the classes, Marcos states, have made Nico a stronger, more proficient swimmer. Marcos and fellow parent Rene commented that the safety techniques that their children were being introduced to during this session were especially useful and something they hadn’t seen at other lessons.
This summer swim class program is the result of collaboration between the YMCA who are providing the lessons and TMC for Children who are sponsoring the program. The City of Tucson and the University of Arizona have also supported the program, especially with regards to pools. There is still space in the July session just sign up on line here. You DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER of the YMCA.
To see more images from today’s classes see here.