By Matthew Saari

Children will have the opportunity to learn safe swimming techniques from certified instructors this summer as part of the Granville Youth Commission’s Summer Swim Program.

The program begins July 7 and runs through the end of the month. Registration is on Monday, July 6.

“Granville is the only area that is doing stuff,” said program director Kayla Nowicki. “I can’t even tell you how many people want me to take their kids to summer swim.”

Registration this year will be held at Granville Elementary School from 5-7 p.m. Program classes will be held five days per week.

Registration consists of a one-page form, which requires information such as birth date and emergency contacts. There is no cost to participate.

Nowicki said calendars will be handed out during registration to each young paddler outlining this year’s class dates

There are usually 45 swimmers each summer, Nowicki said. Each instructor typically works with five kids.

Swimmers will be transported from Granville Elementary School to Lake St. Catherine State Park in Vermont. The bus will leave the school at 10 a.m. and return at 1 p.m.

“[The lake] has always been there; it’s a family-friendly area and we have our own private area,” Nowicki said. “It’s just a great area.”

Nowicki, assisted by five other instructors, will teach swimmers of all skill levels how to swim safely and smartly.

“It’s a great program for kids how to learn to swim, she said. “I think it’s critical to learn those fundamental skills.”

There are additional precautions being taken this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the trip to the lake, kids will be seated one per seat and will wear masks. Obviously, once swimming, the masks will come off.

Swimmers are divided into groups based upon their skill and comfort level. For example a level one swimmer is someone scared of being in the water while a level six can swim a substantial amount on their own. As they progress, the paddlers learn how to bob in the water, butterfly and breast strokes, swimming underwater and more.

“By the end they’re ready to float and enjoy doggy-paddling,” Nowicki said.

Students also learn swim safety techniques such as how to save a drowning victim, CPR and more.

Children should bring with them to class: bottled water, a towel and a bathing suit. It is recommended that they eat a snack and apply sunscreen prior to boarding the bus.

Nowicki is a certified lifeguard through the American Red Cross and she has up-to-date CPR/AED/First Aid training. This is her third year instructing the program that was organized for many years by Shawn Edwards.

For more information, call Nowicki at 518-222-5244.

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