Keeping Cool in Local Pools

The heat is on, and many Crescenta Valley residents are looking to the cool waters of Crescenta Valley High School pool for some relief.

The city of Glendale, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department is offering adults and children a way to beat the high temperatures with swimming lessons as well as recreational swimming.

Any day of the week swimmers are welcomed at Crescenta Valley High School pool for recreational swimming. And those who wish to learn to swim or just improve on their aquatic skills are also welcomed. The parks and recreation department has made a deal with Glendale, Hoover and Crescenta Valley high schools to share their pools.

Every year there is talk of the CVHS pool being closed to the public.

"We work with a certain budget," said Rodney Hairapetian, assistant pool manager. Each summer parks and recreation discuss the pool schedule with the high schools and try to work out a program that allows swimming for the schools water polo team and the community, he said.

Swim lessons are available to swimmers from six-months-old to adults. An American Red Cross Infant and Preschool program is offered for children and their parents. This gets children used to the water and teaches the basics, such as front kick and blowing bubbles. The other programs offered are in compliance with the American Red Cross as well.

"We offer junior life guarding program," Hairapetian said.

This program teaches swimmers the principles of community first aid and safety, water safety instructor aid, general pool-lifeguard scanning methods and various reaching assists. Once students successfully completes the course, they are expected to volunteer for a minimum of 20 hours at one of the pools.

For those Crescenta Valley swimmers who like a slower, easier pace the Glendale Parks and Recreation offers several wading pools at Dunsmore Park on Mondays and Thursdays.

"I like to roll [in the water] the most," Brenna Bowlen said as she and her sister, Mackenzie, enjoyed an afternoon at Dunsmore Park's wading pond.

"They are having a great time," said the sisters' mother, Shelley.

Shelley brought her girls and son to the park to picnic in the shade and play in the pool. The wading pool allows the girls to cool off and still be well within mom's sight and reach. The pool is staffed with a Parks and Recreation lifeguard.

Crescenta-Canada YMCA also offers swimming lessons. In fact, the group is celebrating 100 years of YMCA swimming lessons this year.

The Y offers many different types of classes for all ages. The classes range from those who cannot swim to others who want to learn junior life saving techniques. They also offer times for recreational swimming and for exercise classes such as water yoga and Pilates classes.

"Many children are so excited about swimming," said John Loussararian, who is the Crescenta-Cañada associate director of aquatics.

Instructional practices like this have proven positive for the Y's swimming program.

"We have received a lot of feedback from parents," Loussararian said. "They will say 'my child is comfortable and is now water safe.'"

Another indication that the program works can be seen through the numbers of return students. Many swimmers that took lessons at the Y continue to advanced classes.

"Three-fourths of the kids that start at a very young age, progress through advance. Many even become lifeguards," Loussararian said. "I started with lessons at the Y, then went to junior life guarding."

He was impressed with the fact that the swim lessons incorporates character development.

"We teach respect, responsibility, caring, citizenship, fairness and trustworthy," he said.

Swimming students at the Y are taught to help one another in and out of the pool. Students may begin learning how to stay safe in the water but learn life lessons that they carry throughout their life.

For information on Glendale Parks and Recreation call 548-6420. For information on Crescenta-Canada YMCA call 790-0123.


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