Lesson programs teach children to swim

Learn to swim programs are abundant in Winter Park and Maitland areas

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  • | 10:36 a.m. May 20, 2010
Photo courtesy of Sharks and Minnows - A child jumps off the edge of the pool deck into the arms of his awaiting Sharks and Minnows swim instructor.
Photo courtesy of Sharks and Minnows - A child jumps off the edge of the pool deck into the arms of his awaiting Sharks and Minnows swim instructor.
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With the temperature getting hotter, what better way to spend the day than at the pool in the summer?

For those children who haven't yet learned the safety and proper swim techniques, here are a few swim lesson programs that will have children splashing around, swimming like fishes and cooling off from the summer heat in no time.

Swim Squad

Offering an at-home swim program for children as young as 6 months, the Swim Squad provides lessons feet away from a homeowner's backdoor in order to provide a safe and familiar environment for children to learn in, whether it be a community pool or their very own.

Swim Squad serves all of Central Florida by teaching children how to navigate the swimming pool safely while learning survival techniques and proper form that will give them the confidence to be good swimmers, said Jordan Meher, aquatics director of Swim Squad.

"We are proudly different from all other swim programs in the country because we strictly provide swimming lessons one-on-one or in small groups at a parent's home or community pool, while parents are able to choose the schedule of their lessons," he said. "We are able to customize our lesson plans to teach the children to be safe in the pools they are most exposed to."

Visit www.theswimsquad.com or call 407-415-7577 for more information.


As the song says, "It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A" for swim lessons. Offering parent and child lessons, youth lessons and a pre-school program with fun aquatic-themed levels, the YMCA offers pool safety and lessons for the whole family with locations all over Central Florida. Andrew Aguirre, aquatics coordinator at the Oviedo YMCA Family Center, said children not only get swim lessons that can be life-saving, they also get to experience safety activities outside of the pool such as lifeguard techniques.

"Our aquatics program furthers our five YMCA values: faith, caring, honesty, respect and responsibility," he said.

Aguirre said the pre-school (for children 3 to 5) and youth (6 to 12) programs teaches children techniques such as floating on their backs, proper arms movements, breathing patterns, diving and treading water as they progress through each program. For more information on the aquatics program at your local YMCA, visit www. Centralfloridaymca.org. Pool programs times, availability and schedule vary from location to location. Call 407-359-3606 for more information.

Sharks and Minnows

The Sharks and Minnows swim lesson program has been around since 1990 and has around 25 Central Florida locations ranging from Oviedo to Avalon Park, where lessons are taught by certified swim instructors who went through the Sharks and Minnows school.

Offering group classes (three to five students), private and semi-private (maximum of two students), Sharks and Minnows provides a lot of individual attention to swimming students by giving them a positive and safe environment to learn in, said Andy Heinrich, owner/programs director of Sharks and Minnows. Children as young as 6 months can start the program as minnows and swim their way to shark status.

"Our goal is when they finish the program, that they feel they had a fun, positive experience," Heinrich said.

The program is open to all ages and has several indoor locations, so it's offered year round, he said. For a full list of locations and schedule of when classes are taking place, visit www.sharksandminnows.com or call 407-699-1992 for more information about the Sharks and Minnows program in Central Florida.

Infant Swimming Resource

Infant Swimming Resource, located at 2572 W. State Road 426 in Oviedo, is a program that provides children aged 6-12 months and 1-6 years of age the skills necessary to survive in the water and practice basic swimming skills. Customized and taught one-on-one by a certified ISR instructors, the program emphasizes safety and gives children the competence, confidence and skills of aquatic safety by teaching self-rescue techniques, which could mean life or death, according to the ISR Web site. For more information on the courses taught in the program, as well as the schedule and location of lessons, visit www.infantswim.com.

Jewish Community Center

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando, located at 851 N. Maitland Ave., is offering several swim programs over the course of the summer. Visit www.orlandojcc.org/ and click the JCC aquatics programs icon to see a calendar of events or call the JCC at 407-645-5933. Contact Dana Penrod at [email protected] to learn more about the Slippery Fish swim program for ages 6 months to 3 years old starting June 2 and the Minnows swim school for ages 3 to 5 starting June 14.


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