Hillsboro Family Aquatic Center is introducing more material to younger swimmers in lessons this year as it transitions away from a Red Cross program.
Water safety instructor Emily Bebermeyer said the pool developed its own lessons after the American Red Cross raised the price for its program. She said the change was made to avoid increasing prices for families.
With the change, organizers considered what changes to make. Bebermeyer said that in the past, some swimmers struggled as they reached higher levels in the lessons because too much was introduced at once. To combat that, organizers moved some things earlier in the curriculum.
“It challenges them in a good way,” she said.
There is a preschool level, focused on introducing children to the water, getting them comfortable blowing bubbles, submerging their heads, and learning to kick and paddle, Bebermeyer said. Beyond that, there are five levels that each introduce more.
The lessons are divided between learning competitive swimming strokes like freestyle and butterfly and rescue and endurance strokes like the elementary backstroke and sidestroke.
Siblings Bailey, Barron, and Bishop Talbot said they enjoyed the lessons, especially games at the end of the lessons when they gathered diving rings from the bottom of the pool.
Bailey, 11, said she was in level three lessons earlier this summer. She said the lessons included more endurance work than earlier years.
“We learned how to paddle more,” she said.
She said the most important thing she learned was to paddle with her hands, not just her feet, when treading water.
The first session of lessons is completed, but a second session will begin Monday. Lessons are 10:45 to 11:15 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday for two weeks. Children ages 4 and up can take lessons. The cost is $30 for the first child in a family and $25 for each additional child.
Bebermeyer said families should sign up for lessons in advance by calling (620) 947-3750.