JOHN DAY – Fitness and safety experts say swimming offers myriad benefits – recreation, relaxation, and exercise – and also is an important skill for children who will be around water.

“We want everybody who can, to learn to swim,” said Laci Powell, coach of the John Day swim team and swimming teacher at John Day’s Gleason Pool.

Powell, a Grant Union High School graduate, is a student at Eastern Oregon University, but she returns to John Day each summer to coach the swim team and teach swimming lessons because she enjoys spending time with the children.

Her favorite part of teaching is watching the reaction of the kids during the week – as fear of the water turns to enjoyment.

Powell feels that everyone should learn to swim, and stresses that it is important for children to take lessons before they become afraid of the water. According to Powell, “swimming is a life skill” and “those who don’t know how to swim may find themselves in a dangerous situation.”

During the summer months, swimming lessons are being offered in two week intervals, teaching children to be comfortable in the water, as well as survival techniques and swimming strokes.

For more information on lessons, contact Gleason Pool at 541-575-9930.

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