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Cullen Jones visits the GAC to kick off 2016-17 'Learn to Swim' program
In conjunction with the kick-off of the 2016-17 ‘Learn to Swim’ program in partnership with Guilford County Schools, Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones visited the Greensboro on October 6.
Jones, who won three medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London (gold as a member of the 400m medley relay team and silver in both the 50m free and 400m free relay) stopped by Greensboro’s Gillespie Park Elementary School to speak to the second-graders who will be taking ‘Learn to Swim’ classes at the GAC later this year.
During Jones’ visit to Greensboro, it was announced the ‘Learn to Swim’ healthy lifestyle program will more than double with 19 participating Guilford County Schools.
The dramatic expansion is due to a new partnership between the Greensboro Aquatic Center (GAC), GCS, YMCA of High Point, High Point’s Wesleyan Christian Academy and YMCA of Greensboro to provide satellite locations for learn to swim instruction from GAC staff members.
The expanded locations will enable the ‘Learn to Swim’ program to reach an additional 622 second graders from nine schools in High Point and Greensboro. This will bring the total number of Guilford County school children participating in the 2016-17 ‘Learn to Swim’ program to 1,330 second grade students.
“In my 40-some years working with children in High Point, this ‘Learn to Swim’ program is the best thing to happen,” said Guilford County school board member Ed Price. “This is a game changer for the schools and for our children. It shows great cooperative efforts between Greensboro and High Point and I am so thankful to the Greensboro Aquatic Center for bringing this great program into High Point.”
During his vist, Jones also got in the water at the GAC to take part in Peck Elementary School’s afternoon lesson.
Students in the ‘Learn to Swim’ program are taught techniques to foster a systematic progression of swimming skills that maximize their development over a series of ten 40-minute classes. The skills gained in the ‘Learn to Swim’ program are not only potentially life-saving, but will also help students develop a physically active lifestyle, improve overall health and fitness and expose them to additional swimming opportunities and other aquatic related activities.
The ‘Learn to Swim’ program is privately financed by the following sponsors: The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, YMCA, Deuterman Law Group, Summit Rotary Club, Wesleyan Christian Academy, STAR Aquatics, Swim Gear of NC, Speedo, USA Swimming, Greensboro Sports Council and SUBWAY.
Last year, 678 students from nine Guilford County elementary schools completed the ‘Learn to Swim’ program at the GAC. To date, 2,772 local schoolchildren have graduated from the program since its inception in 2011.