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Penn-Trafford Area swimming program still making a splash

| Friday, July 16, 2010

Lisa Black knows that swimming lessons aren't just about having fun.

They're about safety, too.

Black, assistant recreation director of the Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission, said this is the reason why PTARC has expanded its swimming program.

"For as many kids who go out to lakes or on boats in the summertime, a lot of kids don't know how to swim," Black said.

"It's like riding a bike. Once you learn how, you never forget."

PTARC has offered an American Red Cross swimming program at Penn-Trafford High School for more than five years and is offering more types of classes and a more flexible class schedule to accommodate more people.

In addition to group lessons available for all ages -- adults included -- PTARC offers pre-swimming classes, private and semi-private lessons, and spring board diving instruction.

Participants six and older who have passed the American Red Cross beginner level can participate in Aqua Camp, July 26 to 30.

"We're trying to incorporate other activities that promote safety and safe swimming, as well as fun," Black said.

She said Aqua Camp was designed to incorporate games that sharpen and test swimming skills, including safety drills, relays and contests.

All PTARC swimming instructors are Red Cross certified, and the lessons follow a Red Cross curriculum.

"We've got a great set of instructors, and we want to maximize their skills and abilities," Black said.

She estimates that hundreds of children have learned to swim through PTARC programs, and she hopes the expansion will encourage even more to sign up.

She said that although there are no outdoor public pools in the Penn-Trafford area, safety is just as important when swimming in private pools or at home.

The second two-week session of semi-private lessons and the sixth week of private lessons begin July 26. Semi-private two-week lessons are $69 for Penn-Trafford School District residents and $83 for non-residents. Private one-week lessons are $75 for district residents and $90 for non-residents.

Registration forms can be found online at www.ptarc.org . For more information, call 724-744-2171, ext. 204 or 205.

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