Making a splash: Vicksburg City Pool, American Red Cross to hold Learn to Swim program

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The Vicksburg City Pool is preparing to launch its 2024 swimming lessons sessions in June and Director Sylvia Gurtowski said there will be classes available for all levels of swimmers.

“We teach up to Level 6, which is advanced swimming,” Gurtowski said. “But we have lessons for daycare-aged kids all the way up to adults.”

This year’s registration for the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program will be held at City Park Pavilion, adjacent to the city pool, beginning Wednesday, May 15, and lasting through Friday, May 17, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. each day; and Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. until noon.

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City Pool is located at 900 Lee Street.

“As in years past, the levels group lessons are taught according to the student’s ability starting with Level 1 (beginners) through
Level 6 (advanced),” Gurtowski said. “The levels courses are for children that are at least five years of age and can stand comfortably in the shallow area of the pool. Other than needing to be five years old, there is no age limit to participate in the Learn to Swim program.”

In addition to the levels courses, City Pool will offer lessons for 3-and 4-years-old children, as well as beginning lessons for adults. All classes are taught by certified water safety instructors. The cost for each two-week session is $15 and is payable by cash or check only.

“Classes are designed to be taught in eight 45-minute class periods, but with the likelihood of rain-outs, two extra days are built into the lesson plans,” Gurtowski said. “Three sessions will be taught throughout the summer and classes will be held Monday through Friday for two weeks.”

There will be morning classes as well as an evening class in each session, she said. Because of highdemand and limited space, anyone interested in registering their children for Level 1 or 2 — or for the 3- and 4-year-olds’ class – is encouraged to register
early to ensure the student is enrolled.

For the 3-and4-year-old classes, a parent or adult guardian is required to be in the water with each child.

Appropriate swimsuits are mandatory to be in the pool. No T-shirts, play clothes or undergarments are to be worn as swimsuits.

Three classes will be held daily at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Gurtowski said the 9 a.m. session is reserved for daycare-aged students; 10 a.m. for Levels 1 through 3; 11 a.m. for Levels 4 through 6; and a 5:45 p.m. class will also be available for Levels 1 through 3 and beginning adults.

In addition to swimming lessons, Gurtowski said the pool offers “open swim” hours for the public from 1 until 5 p.m. Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays; daycare center “open swim” from 1 until 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; and a “lap swim” hour every day, with the exception of Tuesday, from noon until 1 p.m. Tuesdays serve as maintenance days for the pool.

And while teachers are ready and waiting for students for this summer’s swimming lessons, Gurtowski said lifeguards are still needed for “open swim” hours and other pool events.

“We’ve been short on lifeguards, mainly due to a nationwide lifeguard shortage that’s been going on for years now,” she said. “We have five or six lifeguards right now, but that’s down and we’d like to have at least seven or eight.”

Gurtowski said anyone interested in becoming a certified lifeguard can reach out to the City of Vicksburg for details at 601-801-3831.

Gurtowski said training is available, but applicants must be at least 16 years of age.

The summer Learn to Swim Session schedule is as follows:

June 3 – June 14
Levels 1 -3, 10 – 10:45 a.m
Levels 4 – 6, 11 – 11:45 a.m.
Levels 1 – 3 and Beginning Adults, 5:45 – 6:30p.m.

June 24 – July 5
Levels 1 – 3, 10 – 10:45 a.m.
Levels 4 – 6, 11 – 11:45 a.m.
Levels 4 – 6, Beginning Adults and 3 and 4 year-olds, 5:45 – 6:30 p.m.

July 15 – July 26
Levels 1 -3, 10 – 10:45 a.m.
Levels 4 – 6, 11 – 11:45 a.m.
Levels 1 – 3, Beginning Adults and 3 and 4 year-olds, 5:45 – 6:30 p.m.