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NYS Parks, Red Cross and Partners Expand ‘Learn to Swim’ in NYC

NYS Parks, Red Cross and Partners Expand ‘Learn to Swim’ in NYC.
The American Red Cross is proud to be involved in a partnership that will help so many children.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey is pleased to announce the partnership between NYS Parks, American Red Cross, National Swimming Pool Foundation and the NYS Department of Health to bring more “Learn to Swim” programs to more kids at state parks this summer season.

“This program has been widely successful at Riverbank State Park in Manhattan and is now expanding to Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx. With this expansion we expect to teach more than 500 children to swim this summer,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “Our partners have also allowed the program to expand to two sessions per day, morning and evening, to ensure that parents have multiple options to get their child to a swimming lesson.”

Funding and support by all partners has allowed for the certification of nine additional Water Safety Instructors for a total of fifteen instructors who will conduct the classes twice daily during multiple weeks in July and August.

“The American Red Cross is proud to be involved in a partnership that will help so many children,” said Josh Lockwood, CEO of the American Red Cross Greater New York Region. “Program participants will now have the opportunity to learn to be more comfortable and safe when they are in, on and around the water.”

Open enrollment for the “Learn to Swim” program for children ages 6 -12 will be held beginning Monday June 24, 2013 at both Riverbank and Roberto Clemente State Parks. Participant’s parents are asked to sign-up ahead of time in person at the desired Park as space is limited and expected to fill up fast.

Each swim program is forty five minutes in duration and all participants will receive a free swim cap. Those who complete seven of the ten day swim classes in one of the three swim sessions will also receive a Learn to Swim Certificate of Completion.

“Learning to swim is an important part of water safety,” adds Anita Sayed, Ph.D. Chairman of the Step Into Swim Committee of the National Swimming Pool Foundation. “It’s a skill that gets passed to future generations protecting these kids’ grandkids,” she adds. “Investing in programs like this makes us proud and thankful for all who gave to the Step Into Swim goal to create a million more swimmers.”

State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., said: “Swimming is a fun and healthy activity for children and adults, but it is important to always follow safety guidelines to prevent accidents. The Learn to Swim program will educate children about water safety and provide the training and knowledge every swimmer should have before going into the water.”

The 2013 summer “Learn to Swim” schedule at both Riverbank State Park and Roberto Clemente State Park are as follows:

  • Morning swim sessions at both parks will be held 9:00AM – 9:45AM.
  • Evening swim sessions at Roberto Clemente State Park will be held 6:15PM – 7:00PM.
  • Evening Swim sessions at Riverbank State Park will be held 7:15PM – 8:00PM.
  • Learn to Swim Session 1

    July 8th – July 19th

    Monday – Friday / Morning and evening sessions available

    Children who complete seven of the ten classes within Swim Session 1 will receive a Certificate of Completion.

    Learn to Swim Session 2

    July 22nd – August 2nd

    Monday – Friday / Morning and evening sessions available

    Children who complete seven of the ten classes within Swim Session 2 will receive a Certificate of Completion.

    Learn to Swim Session 3

    August 5th – August 16th

    Monday – Friday / Morning and evening sessions available

    Children who complete seven of the ten classes within Swim Session 3 will receive a Certificate of Completion.

    Please note that participants who sign up for the Learn to Swim program are committing to ten swim sessions over two consecutive weeks.

    American Red Cross Press Contact: Michael Devulpillieres – 914-297-7946

    National Swimming Pool Foundation Press Contact: Laurie Better – 760-518-9304

    The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation maintains and operates 179 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.