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Swimming lessons - Planningprint story
August 09, 2012
The first part to initiating the Swimming Program was planning. First and foremost, budget. I looked at my budget, inquired about costs and set out a plan based on fees and money available. There are two pools in Huaraz, one of them is a large very cold inexpensive municipal pool, the other is a small heated more expensive pool. After visiting both pools, I realized, that even though I much would have preferred to pay the price of the municipal, I figured the children would be shivering within 15 minutes and that it would not work. After trying to bargain with the owner of the private warm pool for her to give us a deal with no success, she is not a very lenient business woman, I worked out my budget based on that. I needed to purchase a couple bathing suits for the children who do not have any and some kickboards, but other than that the main cost is the pool entrance fees, and transportation to the pool.
I then planned the swimming groups. The pools in Huaraz do not have any lifeguards. Therefore, in order to be safe, I decided I would not go over a 4/1 ratio, 4 students to 1 teacher. Given I can count on always having one more volunteer around to help me out, I divided the children attending Seeds into groups of 7 or 8. This gave me 3 groups for the morning children, and 4 groups for the afternoon children. Looking at the number of weeks I would be in Huaraz, I found that I could offer each group 5 lessons. I was pleased with this number. Each child would get 5 swimming lessons this year. This will obviously not make them professional swimmers, but hopefully some of them will get to know the basics and feel more comfortable in the water.
The last point that needed to be defined was tying it into the schedule at the Seeds of Hope School. After speaking with the Head Teacher and Director of Seeds of Hope, I decided I would be taking one group on Fridays, the other on Thursdays. However, they must have accumulated the appropriate number of “points” during the week prior to their class in order to attend. At Seeds we have a point system to ensure attendance, punctuality and proper conduct. If the children are difficult, do not do homework, arrive late, or miss a day, they loose points. If they loose a couple too many points in the week prior to their assigned swimming class, they are not invited to come swimming.