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Media Release - Preschool swim program a new feature at Recreation Complex Pool


September 25, 2017

Preschool swim program a new feature at Recreation Complex pool


With swim instruction now resuming after the Powell River Recreation Complex swimming pool maintenance shutdown, teachers and their young students will be fully immersed in a new program.


For years, the Powell River Recreation Complex has been using the Red Cross Swim Kids program, but this week, the Red Cross Swim Preschool program is being introduced. The new program has eight levels, featuring graduated progressions and measurable goals for the preschoolers.


Tami Wood, aquatic program supervisor, said swim instruction is moving from a four-level preschool program to an eight-level program that is designed for ages four-months to six-years-old.


Melissa Furlotte, head lifeguard and swim instructor, said the first three levels of the new program are for parents or caregivers with their little ones, ranging in age from four-months to three-years-old. The other five levels are for children between the ages of three- to six-years-old, where they will learn to swim with an instructor in a small class size.


One of the benefits of the new preschool program is the measurable skills that the children are evaluated on. For example, there can be distance or times attached to the skills that the young swimmers perform in class. So, rather than just having to do a front float, they may be timed in the activity. There are progressions that go through all levels, building on the previous levels.


Wood said the Red Cross preschool program has been available for a while but there would a cost increase involved in adopting the program. Several program materials were required to be purchased so it is more expensive than the preschool program that was previously being offered. However, resources were found to make the transition.


“We believe it is going to enhance swimming instruction in the community,” Wood said. “I believe the younger swimmers will have a stronger base of skills before they reach school age.”


Furlotte said the recreation staff will be encouraging children who are five-years-old to stay in the preschool program rather than moving into number levels for kids as they were doing before. Most kids won’t max out in this new program and hold at one level for a long time, which was what was happening in the old program.



“Age won’t hold them back,” Furlotte said.


In addition to learning to swim, there is a water safety component to the new program. This is so children are safe in, on and around the water.


“We actually teach in one of the levels how to do a rescue, instructing the kids how to throw something that floats to a distressed person in the water,” Furlotte said.


The new preschool swim program began on September 25 after the pool reopened from its annual shutdown. There has been staff training in September to provide a refresher for the pool’s certified instructors.


Furlotte said a nice feature about the preschool program being delivered by the Red Cross is that the instructors have been teaching the Red Cross Swim Kids program and the same principles are used in the preschool program. Wood said she believes the new course materials will help the instructors expand their teaching methods because there is detailed information in the course materials.


“The pool staff is excited about getting on with the new program, especially those that have taught it previously at other facilities,” Furlotte said. “I’m really excited about it.”


Wood said she has been anticipating the introduction of the new program for a while. “I’m really happy that it’s finally happening,” she said. “It is a positive evolution that builds on what we’ve done previously.”




For more information, contact:

Tami Wood, Aquatic Program Supervisor

(604) 485-8908


Photo information:

Powell River Recreation Complex swim instructor and lifeguard Melissa Parsley, with the new Progress Booklet, is teaching the Red Cross Swim Preschool program, which provides expanded course offerings for preschoolers. The new program has eight levels, offering classes for preschool swimmers aged four-months to six-years-old.


Event date: 
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 9:30am


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