Sioux Falls, SD
The Elmen Center offers the "Learn to Swim" program for children. While they have spots available for the sessions, enrollment has been steady with families wanting to teach their children how to swim.
"We have parents call all the time -- especially in the summer -- just so their kids can learn the basic safe water skills," Learn to Swim Coordinator Sherry Olson said. "They know if they go out to the lake all the time or if they fall off the boat, they will feel confident and comfortable in the water." Each session is two weeks long.
They follow the Red Cross curriculum and have parent taught classes as well as toddler and pre-school level and six levels that teach students certain strokes like the front crawl.
"Every summer or spring, I sign them up for swimming lessons for sure," Wanda Neugebauer said.
Wanda Neugebauer is mother of three and all of her kids are signed up in swimming lessons this session.
"I think it's just a life skill that's important to them," Neugebauer said.
It's a skill her kids are able to use not just during swimming lessons, but rather all year long.
"In the summer we are by lakes often," Neugebauer said. "We go to Wild Water West all the time. And during the school year, we just got back the island off of Florida we were in Captiva where we swam for seven days straight."
"It's really fun to see how the kids get really attached to their instructors," Olson said. "They just develop that trust and that bond with them and it's fun to see them get more comfortable and confident as they go throughout the session."
Olson said that teaching children to swim is a valuable skill they will be able to use for many years to come.
"We don't want to forget how serious and important our job is," Olson said. "Swimming is an important skill to have all the way through adulthood. It's a great way to stay in shape and to stay healthy. But it's also really important for safety in different situations."
"It definitely gives me a little extra comfort as a parent knowing that they do know how to swim," Neugebauer said.
Classes are still available for parents who are interested in signing their kids up for lessons.