“Drowning is 100 percent preventable, so if we can be more aware of the risks we face we can certainly prevent it,” said Lori Schmidt, president of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona.
The coalition aims to educate people by focusing on three principles of water safety: adult supervision, blocked access to water and swim classes.
High-risk populations include low-income families, Hispanic families and families that suffer from stress related to mental illness, anxiety or substance abuse.
Children ages 5 years old and younger are the most vulnerable to be involved in a water-related incident. But in Arizona, the amount of young children involved in a water-related incident is double the national average.
Where can my child take swim lessons?
Prepare for summer in the Valley with swimming lessons. Some classes have age-level groupings; others are flexible depending on the child’s skills.
Schmidt said the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona helps groups subsidize lessons. Ask whether discounts are available when you enroll.
This private swim school has locations in Scottsdale and Gilbert. They offer classes all week, with starts every half-hour in Scottsdale. In Gilbert, classes are held every day except Friday and Sunday. For first-time swimmers, the Jump Into Swim Program includes two classes per week for a minimum of eight weeks and costs $276 per month for a single child or $542 for two.
This private swim school with multiple locations around the Valley recommends attending two days a week for the best learning experience. Private and semi-private classes are available. Rates vary by location; the central Phoenix and Ahwatukee Foothills locations charge $79-$207 for one child for one to three days per week and $69-$197 for a second child.
Buckeye Parks and Recreation
Buckeye offers swim lessons in 30-minute intervals in the morning or at night Mondays through Thursdays. There are a couple of Saturday lessons as well to fit family schedules. The class levels include four school-age lessons, two parent and child lessons and three preschool lessons. There also are specialty lessons for swim teams and dive. Register online or at the Dr. Saide Recreation Center, 1003 E. Eason Ave. Residents pay $20 per session, and non-residents pay $30 per session.
Chandler Parks and Recreation
Chandler offers six levels of lessons, including semi-private sessions with three children per instructor. Parents can bring their kids to any city pool for a free swim test so they’ll be placed in the proper class. Residents and non-residents can enroll. Non-residents pay 35 percent more than Chandler residents. Register online by the Wednesday prior to the Monday that the session starts.
Details: www.chandleraz.gov/registration or call Traci Tenkely at 480-782-2767.
Gilbert Parks and Recreation
Gilbert offers 25-minute classes for children ages 6 months to 5 years and 30-minute classes for ages 5 to 15. Cost is $30 per session, which includes eight classes Mondays through Thursdays or six Saturday classes. Tadpole swimming lessons for toddlers 30 to 48 months cost $53 per session, with the same schedules, due to low student to teacher ratios. For every three students, there is one instructor. Fee assistance is available via the Gilbert GAP Program. Register at www.gilbertrecreation.com or by visiting the Pools and Parks and Recreation main office at 90 E. Civic Center Drive.
Hubbard Swim School
This private school offers a variety of programs including drop-in lessons for $17 for a group class or $22 for a semi-private class. Baby splash is free for children ages 2 months through 5 months. Rates average $83-$125 per month to visit once a week. Three locations: Phoenix, Peoria and Mesa.
Litchfield Park Parks and Recreation
Lessons for children are offered at Litchfield Park Recreation Center in three divisions. Parent and Tot sessions teach parents how to introduce children ages 6 months to 3 years to the water. Youth lessons, which are divided among seven skill levels, include eight 30-minute sessions over two weeks. Private lessons are also available. Youth lessons cost $35 for residents and $42 for non-residents. Parent and Tot lessons are $18 for residents and $21 for non-residents. Private lessons cost $13 per 15-minute increment. Register at www.litchfield-park.org. For private lessons, call 623-935-9040.
Mesa Parks and Recreation
All nine Mesa pools offer lessons. Adults must be present for Parent Tot Babies and Parent Tot Toddlers classes. Register at www.mesaaz.gov or visit the main recreation office at 200 S. Center St., Building 1. Cost is $24 for residents and $29 for non-residents.
Peoria Parks and Recreation
Peoria offers 10 class levels, including parent and child sessions, preschool lessons and youth lessons. Lessons are held at the Centennial, Sunrise and Peoria pools. Sessions include eight 30-minute classes Mondays through Thursdays for two weeks or Saturdays and Sundays for four weeks. Cost for residents is $25 at all pools. Cost for non-residents is $31 at Centennial and Peoria pools and $57 at Sunrise Pool. Register at www.recreation.peoriaaz.gov.
Pitchfork Aquatics Swim School
A provider of the Michael Phelps Swimming curriculum, Pitchfork Aquatics Swim School offers lessons at Arizona State University pools. Private and semiprivate lessons are available. Each session lasts four weeks on Wednesdays and Fridays or Saturdays. Lessons cost $65 per month (once a week) or $120 per month (twice per week). Annual registration costs $50 per child. Ask about discounts.
Surprise Parks and Recreation
Swim lessons are divided among 11 levels, including diving lessons, based on swimming skills. Sessions meet for 30 minutes Mondays through Thursdays for two weeks at Surprise Aquatic Center and the Hollyhock Pool. Private lessons also are available at Hollyhock Pool. Group lessons cost $25 for residents and $45 for non-residents. Private lessons cost $40 for residents and $60 for non-residents. First-time participants should sign up at the main office in the recreation center at 15960 N. Bullard Ave. or at either of the pools. Once people are in the system, they can register online.
This Mesa swim school offers Olympic-style graduation with medals and award photos, free make-up lessons and free use of the practice and play pools. For babies 2-7 months old, swim lessons are free. For those 7 months and older, lessons cost $81 per month for one 30-minute session per week.
Tempe Parks and Recreation
Kiwanis Park Wave Pool offers 11 class levels for kids 8 months and older. There are nine class levels at the Escalante Pool. At Kiwanis Park, lessons cost $38. Register online at www.tempe.gov/brochure.
There are 12 locations around the Valley. Classes are organized based on swim experience. Children are eligible as early as 6 months old. Classes are held Mondays through Thursdays. Private and semi-private lessons are available as well. Prices vary based on location. At the Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA, lessons cost $40 per session for YMCA members or $80 per session for non-members.
Do you know of another pool or company in the metro Phoenix area that offers child swim lessons? Send them to [email protected].
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