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Kids Hit Pool To Cool Down
Temperatures this week are headed past the 90-degree mark and, with the official start of summer observed on Monday, June 21, swimming lessons and recreational swimming are in full swing at the Escalon community pool.

The first two-week session of swimming lessons has been completed and session two started on June 21. Session three will be from July 5 through the 15 with a fourth and final session scheduled July 19 through 29.

Recreational swimming is offered Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the pool, at a cost of $2 per person. Swim passes for the season are available through the city's Recreation Department.

"We have a good amount of people coming each day," Pool Supervisor Kacey Ball said of the crowd building as the weather heats up. "It was windy and cold the first week but now it's going good."

Many of the local day cares in the area make regular trips to the pool, she said, and that helps insure a crowd.

She was also pleased with the participation in the first two-week session of lessons, offered both in the morning and afternoon.

"The kids seem to enjoy it, they have fun," Ball explained.

Classes range from Level 1, the most basic of introductory classes, to Level 6, which focuses on more advanced strokes, rescue breathing and diving. Lessons run for a half hour and are open to both youths and adults, with Monday through Thursday lessons. A Mommy and Me class for toddlers is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The final day of each two-week session is set aside strictly as a "fun day," Ball said, with children playing water games and learning some water safety.

"We had 59 total kids" signed up for the first session, Ball said, which ran from June 7 through 17. There were no participants in the Mommy and Me class during that session.

"We get more sign ups for the night lessons," she added, noting that parents tend to bring their children when they get off work. Sign ups are taken until 4 p.m. the Friday before each new session starts. Next deadline will be Friday, July 2 for the classes that begin July 5. Call the recreation department at 691-7306 for more information.

Evening lessons run at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., while the morning classes are offered at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and noon. Mommy and Me starts at 11 a.m. and adult lessons are offered at noon.

There are about a dozen lifeguards working at the pool this summer, with rotating shifts, and many also serve as instructors for the swimming lessons. They also staff the snack table, which offers a variety of treats for kids to purchase while at the pool.

Break time typically means a long line at the snack table, Ball said.

Ten-year-old Rosemarie Bulkley was enjoying a snack while also getting in a little sunbathing on Thursday.

"It's called multi-tasking," she said of tanning while she ate.

Jazzy Smith, 9, picked a fruit snack to provide her with some energy to get back in the pool.

"I like swimming and playing with my friends," she said of what she likes most about spending time at the pool.

"I love the diving board, it's so much fun," added 10-year-old Brittney Grant.

Local resident Justin Schrotenboer was visiting the pool with his three kids, ages 4, 6 and 8.

"They're doing swimming lessons and they enjoy it," he said. "It's just a really great place."

For David Megenney, who is looking forward to turning 13 in July, it's all about the water.

"I like just staying cool," he said, enjoying his afternoon jumping off the diving board into the refreshing pool.