With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start making plans. For many St. Louisans, that will include spending a lot of time at the pool. Staying cool and having fun in the water is a huge part of surviving Midwestern summers. Now is definitely the time to get the kids enrolled in swimming lessons. Water safety is paramount for parents each summer, as drownings occur every year. If your children need instruction before sending them off to camp or to hang at the pool, don’t hesitate. Learning to swim well is a skill they’ll have for a lifetime. Enroll them now in one of these top swim classes in St. Louis.
Little Fishes Swim School
155 Hanley Industrial Court
Brentwood, MO 63144
Little Fishes Swim School is aptly named. That’s because by the time your kids are finished taking swim classes here, they will really be like little fishes in the water. Little Fishes provides small, intimate classes with certified, experienced instructors who are loving, enthusiastic and patient at all skill levels. Little Fishes believes that building self-confidence is a key component of swim lessons and therefore uses developmentally appropriate lessons for each child’s ability. Classes are 30 minutes, once a week, and the new facility with a year-round 90-degree pool is now open.
Ackermann Swim Program/Camp
1044 Curran Ave.
Kirkwood, MO 63122
Ackermann is a swimming institution in St. Louis that has been around for over 60 years. Thousands of local kids have learned to swim at this one-of-a-kind program, thanks in part to founder Alice Ackermann’s vision that all kids should learn water safety and the fundamentals of swimming strokes. Located in Kirkwood, Ackermann offers four different heated pools at varying depths as well as a playground and pavilion area, making the camp fun, safe and non-competitive. Classes are currently enrolling for the upcoming season, as swim camp starts on May 21 and runs through August 9. There will also be an open house on May 17 to acquaint all newly registered kids with camp.
Chucky Teasley has been teaching Infant Self Rescue and survival swim lessons for over 15 years. Through his program, he has taught over 5,000 children the skills necessary to save themselves if left unsupervised in the water, as every swim student’s lessons are individualized and instruction is always one-on-one. In order to participate in lessons, Teasley insists students attend classes five consecutive days per week with shorter intervals in the water. This enables them to retain what they’ve learned better, provides a very safe lesson and ensures they learn the proper sequencing of skills, which Teasley believes is essential. He says, “When infants and children finish ISR lessons, they have the self rescue skills necessary to independently save themselves if they fall into the water.” Additionally, he adds, “ISR instructors go through the equivalent of a minor in college to become certified and are required to complete a re-certification course every year.”
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Rockwood Swim Club
Crestview Middle School
16025 Clayton Road
Ellisville, MO 63011
Rockwood Swim Club is the only swim program in the St. Louis area granted the exclusive rights to operate the SwimAmerica Program, run nationally by the American Swimming Coaches Association. SwimAmerica distinguishes itself with two critically important features: one is that it is technique-oriented, teaching kids from day one how to swim with expert technique and exhale underwater, and the other is that it is goal-oriented, focusing on the skills needed to help your child progress, individually, as rapidly as possible. Rockwood Swim Club provides lessons for kids age five through 16 and has over 80 qualified coaches and instructors.
YMCA St. Louis
Carondelet Park Rec Complex
930 Holly Hills Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63111
The Aquatics Programs at all area YMCAs are top notch. With branches all over the St. Louis area, the swim program is designed to teach personal water safety, stroke development and rescue skills. Through the YMCA, children learn at their own pace and lessons start as young as six months in the parent/child level and go all the way through adult classes. The Y offers private or semi-private instruction and all lessons are taught by experienced teachers, trained to work with children. Besides classes for infants, preschoolers, teens and adults, the YMCA also offers aquatic lessons for people with disabilities, master courses and lifeguard certification. See the main St. Louis YMCA Aquatics homepage for specific location schedules and fees.
Meredith Johns is a freelance writer covering all things St. Louis. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.