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Community Pool Swimming In Success
From the youngest, sometimes timid entry level kids to the more adventurous middle schoolers, there is plenty of learning going on this summer at the Escalon Community Pool.

Lifeguards who also serve as swim instructors are putting the kids through a series of classes, Monday through Thursday, helping them get used to the water, introducing them to some strokes and different types of kicks, even getting them into the deep end for some diving instruction.

The second two-week lesson session is wrapping up, with the final class slated for tomorrow, Thursday, June 28. The pool staff will take a break from the lessons during the Fourth of July holiday week, but Session 3 for the summer starts up on Monday, July 9 and runs through July 19. The final Session 4 will be offered from July 23 through Aug. 2.

Instructors Ian Fitzgerald and Casey Pettitt were working with the youngest Level 1 swimmers on a recent chilly morning, encouraging the 4- to 5-year-olds to work on floating, kicks, getting their face submerged in the water and doing some basic arm strokes. The in-the-water instruction started only after a class meeting poolside where instructors and students covered some ground rules and reviewed basic safety information about being around the water. Even though some of the young learners needed extra coaching to let go of the wall and test the waters, instructors were encouraging and praised the swimmers in training as they made small kicks toward proficiency. Even Brynn Caton, 3, who spent the first half of the lesson with a quivering lip and trying to choke back sobs, was in the water and kicking her way around the shallow end with guidance from Pettitt by the end of that day's session.

In the deep end, the Level 4 swimmers were practicing diving off the side of the pool with some tips offered by instructor Lestat Velasquez, then worked on perfecting their backstroke as they did laps.

Lessons are offered in half-hour sessions in both the morning and late afternoon. Youth and adult classes meet Monday through Thursday and the introduction to the pool for toddlers in the Mommy and Me class meets just Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Adult lessons and Mommy and Me class meets at 11 a.m., with Level 1 and Level 4 lessons set for 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Levels 2 and 5, noon and 6 p.m.; Levels 3 and 6, 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Registration can be done at the Escalon Recreation Department, with sign-ups due the Friday before the new session starts. Registration for Session 3 will be due by Friday, July 6.

Public swim at the pool is offered Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at a cost of $2 per person.