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Terri's Y Story

Terri's Y Story

As I began speaking to my students about their summer plans, many of them talked about spending time at the pool, beach, or ocean. I asked them if they had ever taken swim lessons and was surprised to find out that many of them had not. Hearing this, I knew that something needed to be done. Learning to swim and understanding safety around water is an important life-long skill, vital for their safety, and also would provide these students a fun way to see one another during the summer break.

I contacted the Y right away because I knew it would be the perfect place to do this. My own family has been coming to the Y since my children were little and it wasn't even a question as to where I hoped the lessons could be held. I find that when you're new to a community, that it can be difficult to find or learn about the resources available to you. These families are all immigrants or refugees and I really wanted to show them ways to feel welcome and build ties. I thought that if they hadn't had an experience with the Y yet that the swim lessons could be a great introduction. The Y is such a good organization and is so much more than lessons. I thought this could be a good entry to that.

When I told my students about this opportunity for swim lessons, they were so excited. I explained the handout and had them take it home to be signed by their parents. Several brought it back the next day and as each student would turn in their sheet, the others became more motivated to get theirs signed as well. The younger students were so excited they asked me daily if swimming lessons would be starting tomorrow!

Caring, honesty, respect and responsibilitythose are the things that you want to teach your students. When I think of the Y and those values, I think of the community because I see the Y as a big gift to Lincoln. Even when I come here on weekends, I see all of these families doing activities together, bonding and, and being physically active and it fits with that I want as an educator for my students to be able to experience as they go through life.