|Do you want to entice your little ones to read more and learn to be safe in the water? The Chula Vista Recreation Department can help! A new and unique program for children, Read to Swim, is designed to address three vital issues that affect youth: water safety, literacy and the fight against childhood obesity. The Read to Swim program rewards children for taking an interest in literature by offering swimming lessons at City pools. To be eligible, children ages 4 to 16 years old must read an age appropriate book and then write a brief book report. Books can be obtained at home or at the Chula Vista Public Library. Children that cannot yet read may have a parent read to them and then draw a picture depicting their favorite part of the story.
Swim lessons are offered Monday through Friday for two weeks, and two sessions will be offered at each location: Parkway Family Aquatic Center, 385 Park Way and Loma Verde Family Aquatic Center, 1420 Loma Lane. Lesson times are 4:15 p.m., 4:50 p.m., 5:25 p.m. and 6 p.m. The cost to register is $10, but each participant will receive a $10 credit towards future swim lessons or recreational swim. The schedule is as follows:
Session 1: September 12-23; registration September 6, 3-6:45 p.m., Parkway
Session 2: September 26-Oct. 7; registration September 20, 3-6:45 p.m., Parkway
Session 3: September 26-Oct. 7; registration September 20, 3-6:45 p.m., Loma Verde
Session 4: October 10-21; registration October 4, 3-6:45 p.m., Loma Verde
Read to Swim participants are also asked to take a Soda Free Challenge during their swim lessons. The Soda Free Challenge requires that children commit to not drink soda for two weeks. The goal is to encourage children to curb consumption of high calorie and sugared drinks. In addition, participants will be asked to track their consumption of fruits and vegetables for each day of the challenge.
“It may be ambitious, but we are confident that we can provide life saving water safety skills while creating a gateway to a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally,” said Manuel Gonzalez, Aquatic Supervisor III.
Drowning is the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 14 years, and an average of eight children are victims of fatal drowning incidents in San Diego County each year.
For more information about the Read to Swim program, please contact Manuel Gonzalez at (619) 691-5099 or visit www.chulavistaca.gov.