River to Coast Childcare Services has been offering morning swim lessons at the Rio Nido Pool during the month of July, in 30-minute sessions from 9am-11am through a partnership with the YMCA in Santa Rosa.
For $4.00 per lesson for each family, (or $32 for two weeks worth of lessons, Monday-Thursday), the children receive 30 minutes of swim lessons & can then hang out at the pool for the day (without paying the normal $6 per day fee). This program may continue through August if there's enough demand for it.
I initially felt somewhat doubtful about these lessons, even though we have a summer membership for the Rio Nido Pool. My 6-year-old daughter has been highly resistant towards my attempts towards enrolling her in swim lessons in the past -- even though she loves the water -- & had absolutely ZERO desire to participate in this current round of lessons, either. Nonetheless, I told her she MUST try it, because being a non-swimmer in this River Town is NOT an option, so she reluctantly agreed.
My, oh, my ... these instructors are pretty danged good & awfully persuasive ... now my daughter can't WAIT to go to her swim lessons & even feels disappointed that there is no swim lesson tomorrow (because it's Friday). They handle all age groups & personalities remarkably well. Each child receives a good balance of group time, watching time (i.e. seeing other kids swim, including the fabulous exploits of older/more advanced kids), & individual time practicing things with the instructor. They're amazing & REALLY good with the kids, & get them to do all sorts of things that you could only get your kids to do in your dreams ... like, swim underwater without holding their noses, float on their backs, doggy-paddle or swim the crawl all the way across the pool, etc.
For more information or to ask about future swim lessons, please call River to Coast Childcare Services at 707.869.3613. Lessons are only scheduled through July 18th, but I'm sure that they will find a way to extend them if enough of us want them to continue.
It's important for us to have a regular program of swim instruction here on the Russian River. The proximity of the River makes it extremely urgent that our children know how to swim & have a thorough understanding of water safety. I'm grateful to the folks at RCCS & the Santa Rosa YMCA for offering us this program.