Time for kids’ swim lessons, fountain operating

Swim lessons at the recreation center have begun and will continue throughout the summer. Water-based programming during the summer has always been popular. Small wonder with warm weather approaching — a sizzling three-month stretch — parents are thinking of enjoyable activities for their young ones while also opening up the opportunity to acquire new skills.

Group lessons will be offered in 30-minute blocks, over the course of four days each week. Level I, Level II and Level III classes will be offered between 10:30 a.m. and noon Monday through Thursday.

Classes are taught by Marky Egan, a Water Safety instructor, with ten years of experience, certified through the American Red Cross and the United States Coast Guard programs. Marky is also a members of the American Swimming Coaches Association.

June swim lesson schedule is as follows:

• Monday, June 1 — Thursday, June 4.

• Monday, June 8 — Thursday June 11.

• Monday, June 15 — Thursday, June 18.

• Monday, June 22 — Thursday, June 25.

No classes will be offered in the month of July due to the high volume of pool traffic during that time. Some classes will be offered in August based on demand. Private swim lessons are also available during the summer.

Parents of children enrolled in swim lessons are asked to drop off their swimmers (already in swim attire) on the pool deck with the instructor and return when classes are over. Parents are welcome to be on the pool deck the last day of class to see their swimmer’s accomplishments.

Classes offered this summer will be for all ability levels and ages three and older. To help you choose the appropriate class for your child, here is some information about each level.

• Level 1: Water Exploration.

This course is an introductory class for children being introduced to the water. Successful completion of the course is a very meaningful experience for your child. This level emphasized being comfortable in the large pool, putting the face in the water, blowing bubbles, learning to float on the back and stomach, flutter kick and pool safety. Students will also begin to go under water for objects while holding their breath and begin to learn how to tread water. Students must be at least three years of age.

• Level II: Primary Skills.

Your child has made a good start in learning swimming and water safety skills. At this level, the student will learn to float on their back and tread water for a short amount of time. Students in this class will improve their strokes learned from Level I, kick while on their back, step from the side into chest-deep water and revert to a vertical position, perform reaching and extension assists from the deck, turn over front to back, and learn back crawl arm action.

• Level III: Stroke Readiness.

Students in this level will tread water, bob submerging head completely, dive from the side of the pool from kneeling and compact positions, coordinate arm stroke for front crawl with breathing to the side, learn the elementary backstroke, learn how to open airway for rescue breathing and refine their strokes.

As a longtime staff member at the recreation center, I have had the pleasure of being able to see firsthand the benefits of early exposure to water. These children, over the years in various age-appropriate aquatic programs, are very comfortable and happy in the water. However, I’ve also seen preschool and early school-age children scream and cry in swim classes. They are afraid to put their faces in the water, every fiber of their body tightens up and they are just not having fun.

Fountain

“Thar she blows!” What a beautiful sight to see the Pinon Lake fountain in operation again. It truly is an aesthetically pleasing addition to our community.

Donations are still being accepted to keep the fountain going and if you wish to show your support of this lovely feature, please make a check out to Town of Pagosa Springs (Town of Pagosa Springs, PO Box 1859, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147). On the check memo put “Fountain Fund,” and on the lower front of the envelope print “Fountain Fund.”

So far, $3,300 has been raised toward keeping the fountain going through September. The estimated cost per season (May-September) is between $3,600 and $4,000. Many generous individuals, businesses and organizations have donated.

However, without the vision and perseverance and hard work of Gary Gray, we would not be enjoying this striking community feature. Thank you, Gary, for pounding the pavement to gather financial support.