Community learns to swim at New Lebanon Jr/Sr High School

Students in poolThis summer, dozens of children ages four to 13, are taking advantage of the pool at New Lebanon Jr/Sr High School  and learning the lifelong skill of swimming.

Children from New Lebanon, Berlin, Stephentown and Nassau attend one of both of the two-week swim sessions offered through the New Lebanon Summer Youth Program. Each session is 45 minutes and runs four days a week. Swimmers are placed in one of four ability groups, ranked by the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program.

Tim Christensen is the New Lebanon Varsity Swimming Coach and also works for the Youth Program. He provides the lessons to the swimmers at each level. In addition, teenagers from the community provide assistance in the pool.

Christensen works with swimmers on everything from getting comfortable in the water and blowing bubbles, to endurance and competitive swimming as well as survival skills like floating and treading water.

Rachel Donohue of East Nassau brings her two children, ages five and 10, to the program and said it’s the best place in the area to learn how to swim.

“There are so many rivers and streams in this area, which is kind of fun to splash around in, but not really a place where you can actually learn to swim,” she said. “Everyone should know how to swim.”

Christenson is hoping to offer a winter program on Saturdays beginning in January and running through March. He also mentioned the possibility of offering a course for those interested in becoming certified for swim instruction. Details will be posted on New Lebanon CSD’s website as they become available.