Streams

Free Swim Lessons Bring Fun for Kids, Relief for Parents

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 03:10 PM

About three dozen New York City kids participated in the free swimming lessons at Roberto Clemente Park in the Bronx today as part of a summer program to teach kids the basics of swimming. Lessons are also given at Riverbank State Park in Upper Manhattan.

Although having fun in the sun is a major focus of the program, organizers also hope that imparting swimming skills to the more than 500 kids expected to participate in the 10-day training sessions will reduce accidental drowning.
 
Kimberly Guzman brought her son Jose Casanova, 11, who has nearly drowned twice while playing with friends.

“I don’t know how to swim,” she said, “so if he was to be with me outdoors in the pool or beach, I wouldn’t be able to save him.”
 
Though her son was initially frightened to get in the water during his first swimming lesson, Guzman said he eventually learned to have fun. Soon enough, he joined the kids in multicolored bathing suits splashing and kicking in the water as instructors taught them how to float with a kickboard.

The program is sponsored by the state’s parks department and the Red Cross, among others, and is open all New York City kids ages six to 12.

Tiffany Malkowski, 8, from the Bronx, looks warily out at the water as instructors teach students how to float with a kickboard.
Jeannie Choi for WNYC

Tiffany Malkowski, 8, from the Bronx, looks warily out at the water as instructors teach students how to float with a kickboard. Malkowski is participating in a free swimming lesson at Roberto Clemente Park in the Bronx on July 9, 2013.

Amy Polanco, 19, (center) is a swimming instructor from Spanish Harlem. Polanco says she trained for several months with the American Red Cross to become a swimming instructor.
Jeannie Choi for WNYC

Amy Polanco, 19, (center) is a swimming instructor from Spanish Harlem. Polanco says she trained for several months with the American Red Cross to become a swimming instructor. This summer, she looks forward to teaching kids swimming survival skills such as floating with a kick board.

Aura Mejia, 6, is all smiles as she gets ready to swim into the water with her kick board. Mejia said she felt brave as she swam during her lesson at the Roberto Clemente Park pool.
Jeannie Choi for WNYC

Aura Mejia, 6, is all smiles as she gets ready to swim into the water with her kick board. Mejia said she felt brave as she swam during her lesson at the Roberto Clemente Park pool.

Some of the students practiced making big waves and little waves while kicking in the water during their first swimming lesson on July 9, 2013, at Roberto Clemente Park in the Bronx.
Jeannie Choi for WNYC

Some of the students practiced making big waves and little waves while kicking in the water during their first swimming lesson on July 9, 2013, at Roberto Clemente Park in the Bronx. Each swimming lesson is 45 minutes long and runs for 10 days. All participants who complete seven out of the 10 days receive a certificate of completion.

Jose Casanova is 11-years old and is from the Parkchester neighborhood in the Bronx.
Jeannie Choi for WNYC

Jose Casanova is 11-years old and is from the Parkchester neighborhood in the Bronx. Casanova's mother said he nearly drowned two different times while playing with friends and family in water. Though he was frightened to get in the water at first, Casanova ended the day with a smile.

Jeannie Choi for WNYC
Summer Gaskin, 6, from the Bronx showed off a broad smile as she ended her swimming lesson. More than 500 children are expected to participate in the swimming program.

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Comments [1]

aboubakarzongo from 421 E 168 7E

i will like to learn how to swim in water that why i was asking if in could be part of this

Jul. 16 2013 08:06 PM

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