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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


Another great group of children from the Seatack area of Virginia Beach. We have 35 children this week, 5 instructors, 1 assistant from the Princess Anne High School IB program, and 1 lifeguard.
The children are low level swimmers this week with only a couple of Level 3's. We did have to make one rescue yesterday - one of the kids from my class (who does have an armstroke) decided to try the diving board - she went off but then went into panic mode. I was in the deep end at the time so I rescued her. It was a heart retching moment. She sobbed for almost 20 minutes. I got her back into the deep end just to do some bobbing while holding on to the side of the pool. I pleaded with her not to let this discourage her and I pray that she comes back this morning.
The kids were slow to get dressed so I am having to take away 3 minutes of their free time today - a first for this summer. I am hoping that it doesn't happen again. Free time is SO important. The kids are very receptive to the games and the diving boards. Today is Breakthrough Wednesday and I am anxious to see what happens today.
Next year, I must get caps made to give to the children. So many of the girls have braids that are long and get in the way of swimming even with them tied back. I almost called Shaun yesterday to see if he had extra caps left over from the weekend. Next year.......................................This is still a learning process.

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Comment by Leslie A. Paul on July 18, 2008 at 4:37pm
Another week finished. I wish we could have these children longer. The child that jumped off the board on Tuesday and had to be rescued - she jumped off today and swam to the side. I wish I could have had a picture of the grin on her face. Everyone did a fantastic job this week.
I also learned today that the City of Virginia Beach is charging the Reaching Our Communities Program very high prices for the bus transportation. ROC has to pay the city for two extra hours each day for transportation in addition to the hours that are REALLY used to get the kids from one place to another, thus adding $20 more each day to program costs. They are also charged $1.00 per mile. These camps used to be run by the Neighborhood Preservation Department and the city paid for everything, so why can't they pay for the kids to be transported to their many different activities and let the city pick up the tab? For that matter, why can't the city put the 4th Grade Learn To Swim Program back in our elementary schools?
Comment by Regina Mobley on July 17, 2008 at 4:12pm
I had the pleasure of working with the children today. The kids from Seatack are terrific! They are eager to learn, well behaved and grateful for the instructions. I'm really proud of them.
Comment by Leslie A. Paul on July 16, 2008 at 5:10pm
Incredible week!
Comment by Regina Mobley on July 16, 2008 at 4:32pm
Sorry to hear that, I will try to get my there tomorrow. I hope she returns.
Comment by Leslie A. Paul on July 16, 2008 at 4:18pm
Today was truly breakthrough day. The kids are swimming like you wouldn't believe! My little girl that jumped from the diving board yesterday came back and once she got back into the pool, she was grinning ear to ear. She jumped in several times holding my hand in the deep end but still isn't quite ready to try the board again. Wanted to do it with the lifejacket on, but I don't allow that. It is surprising how uncomfortable the children are in lifejackets. Will need to use them again before the end of the week.
No guest speaker this week to talk to the kids but that's alright. They are having a grand time!

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