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Genesee Valley Park PoolThe Democrat & Chronicle is doing a fantastic series on students at World of Inquiry forming a crew team. Before they can get in the boat, they have to learn how to swim. This is proving challenging for kids who have not been exposed to swimming lessons. (Their swim teacher is my former teammate on the Maplewood Y swim team!)

As a lifelong swimmer, I’m a huge advocate of all children learning how to swim. It’s a potentially life saving skill and it’s also wonderful for exercise and recreation. Sadly, swimming is not a priority at our elementary and high schools. In addition, the city has been installing splash parks, which I fear discourage learning how to swim.

This summer, the City of Rochester offers FREE swim lessons to children and $20 lessons to adults. (Download the registration here.) I often swim at the Genesee Valley Park pool and I’m amazed at how empty the pool is on a 90-degree day. (Entry is $1 for children and $3 for adults.)

The Y also has excellent swimming lessons programs.

Let’s take advantage of the city’s great pools and jump in!

Links of the Day:


Heroin deaths in Rochester are surging. In Buffalo, heroin deaths are links to heroin-fentanyl cocktails.

The call center closure in Albion demonstrates why call centers are bad economic development. Too easy to open and close. There’s little investment.

– Macy’s at Walden Galleria is expanding to accommodate Canadian shoppers.

– An imagined apology letter from Obama to Bush: “I was critical of you about so many things I now, myself, am doing.”

5 Responses to Learning to Swim

  1. June 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm orielly responds:

    GVP is mostly empty because they charge to get in and lets face it, thats the way the city wants it. No way the UR people ever use it if it wasn’t regulated.

  2. I had to laugh at the statement by a college professor that the reason blacks cannot swim is due to slave owners afraid that blacks would escape if they knew how to swim. This seems ridiculous on many levels. One, to classify all blacks as being unable to swim is idiotic. As if the color of ones skin determines the ability to be able to swim. Second, slave owners were afraid their slaves would try to swim back to Africa? Swimming is learned. You have to be near water. You also need someone to teach you. I would guess that most people who live far from water, such as in a inner city, would not have many opportunities to be near water. I would also guess that many people who live in the inner city would not have anyone to teach them. More that likely, their caregivers were equally not near water growing up and they also are unable to swim. I have relatives and friends, who are white and of middle class lifestyle, who also cannot swim. It is not limited to color. In regards to having a rowing team in an inner city school, I don’t know what to think. It does seem strange. What is the point? How many schools in Monroe County actually have rowing teams? Just my thoughts….

  3. June 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm Bill responds:

    I don’t like that series at all, the D&C had to turn it into a race issue when its really a poverty and city v. Suburb issue. Doesn’t matter your race, a poor white kid has just as little exposure to crew as a poor black kid, same for middle class kids. Crew isn’t a white sport, its a rich sport. City Hall, RCSD and this community will continue to spin its wheels and fail to address problems until they realize its not racial, its money. Don’t forsake the not black poor kids just because “too many” that look like them have opportunity

  4. June 9, 2013 at 11:35 pm Orielly responds:

    The city of Rochester has offered and run Free swimming lessons in the Summer every week day for 50 or more years. In High school pools in playground pools (there used to be a lot of them- called porta pools), at Genesee Valley Park at the City Natatorium. There were also lessons offered at the 4 city YMCAs. IN FACT more swimming programs and lessons were offered in the summer in the city vs the burbs by far.

    Anyone who lived in the city for the last 50 years and can’t swim can’t blame lack of access. They can only blame themselves or their parents.

  5. May 20, 2016 at 2:18 pm Gail Harris responds:

    My siblings and I learned to swim in the GV pool back in the early 1960s. We lived on Genesee St. and walked Genesee St. or Plymouth Ave through the park every day. Back then the boys and girls had separate pools. On hot days, there were long benches where we would line up to get into the pool. Too bad it isn’t that way now. It was a wonderful time.

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