Young people learn to walk, talk and hopefully read and pray at home with the help of their guardians, siblings, parents and other close family members. Swimming can receive the same treatment. Let’s teach our kids to swim while in a team setting.
Triumph Time Try Outs are opportunities to problem solve with both kids and adults
Buddies may refer to: Friendship, a relationship between two people who hold mutual affection for each other.
Revival of older plans, vintage 2002, but still valid
Years ago, robust plans for swimming activities that featured kids and adults were delivered to leaders in Pittsburgh Public Schools. Sadly, they did nothing. Go figure.
Repeated contacts and approaches, by-and-large, put some programs into action, but not many. See sports dystopia for more on the struggle and negative view.
Parent Engagement Centers were once a push with the district. They came and went. Footnote, a present-day City Council member, Theresa Kail Smith, was the PPS employee who ran the center at Langley. More recently the district tried a concept of “Community Schools.” The elected school board pushed for community schools and got a test pilot program enacted at the end of Dr. Linda Lane’s time as PPS Superintendent. With Dr. Anthony Hamlet’s arrival to Pittsburgh, little was done for a few years. Five schools were designated and three of them had swim pools: Westinghouse (great pool), Langley (small pool), Arsenal (small pool), and two other schools without pools.
LouAnn Ross was hired as a central office employee to manage the program. I had meetings with her upon her arrival and then a year later — and nothing was done. Analysis. Then she departed. Thankfully. A new search, new employee and new hope comes with Monte Robinson, mrobinson2@.
Everyone knows that student success hinges upon parent and guardian participation in the educational journey of the students. Higher success can come about as the parents, guardians, grand-parents and other significant adults are engaged with the kids. Mentoring is big. So too, the concept of Take a Father to School, a special event in May each year.
The facilities, including the PPS swimming pools, are under utilized in the evenings, nights, weekends, holidays and summers. The pools can provide a great place for kids and their guardians to work together — for everyone’s benefit.
Generally, school activities separate the kids from the parents. Home-schooling is frowned upon by many of the public school system, including teachers, as they’re replaced by the parents. Go figure. Parent-teacher meetings and various open house activities happen, but with only a fraction of the support from the adults at home, for countless reasons.
Once parents and guardians can go to the schools and enjoy themselves and have fun, inspiring, social times together, in the schools, then the experiences can be repeated and elevated to other educational topics.
Let’s establish time for interactions for kids and adults to triumph together!
Swim lessons engaging students with adults accompaniment,
Trimuph Try-Outs, are one-shot swim lessons where students and adults participate together. Kids can not sign-up without being matched with an adult. The activities presented are geared to student and adult couples.
These Try-Outs have little to do with the athletes impressing the coaches and program leaders. The coaches are not testing and evaluating the students. Rather, the real try-out is for the participants (the students, parents, mentors, citizens, taxpayers) to try-out an engagement at the swim pool with a learning setting.
People understand “swim lessons.” Swim lessons have always been a valued summer-time activity. Learning to swim is fun as well as a skill that saves lives. Pittsburgh is a city of three rivers and lots of swimming pools. However, few of our kids are competent swimmers. A tremendous need exists in this program category.
Bonus in Flexibility
Triumph Try-Outs can be held at any time, morning, noon, night. Indoor pools that are out of the sun and without weather disruptions are ideal. Under utilized swim facilities can use the Try-Outs as an ice-breaker so as to migrate additional activities to these swim facilities in the seasons to come. Triumph Try-Outs present a capacity building opportunity for outreach.
One Shot, Easy Engagement
Triumph Try-Outs are one-shot events. Participants show up, do the activities, and then they are finished. There is no long-term commitment involved.
Subject and Object of the Try-Outs
In a traditional Try-Out setting, the coaches and program leaders put the want-a-be players on display in a competition. The players strive for a position in the draft or on the team. The Triumph Try-Outs reverse the roles and inject a new realm of priorities. The customer and buyers have roles that are flip-flopped.
The consumer, taxpayer, students get to Try-Out the coaches, activities, facilities, and to a large extent, the sincerity of the districts’ emphasis on “parental and community involvement.” The Triumph Try-Outs give a proving ground for the establishment of different priorities and can foster new relationship experimentation.
Parent involvement is a growing concern and focus for the overall health of the educational process. District wide elements for parent advisory actions are skeptical to the citizens. School board members are elected from fractions of the voters. Parents generally get concerned about the schools where their kids attend.
A relationship priority is present as students and adults try-out one another. The bond between mentor and mentee can be challenged in different settings. Going to the pool can present a two-hour Outward-Bound-like gateway for the matched participants. The swimming is a escape and presents some bonding time. The foundation and the approach to the challenges can transcend beyond the swim pool setting.
Many different mentor programs exist in Pittsburgh. These Try-Outs can be an on-going way to get meaningful interactions among the volunteer mentors and the students.
Put swimming, teamwork and technology into the hearts of the participants.
The overall aquatics program at Pittsburgh Public Schools can evolve and be a source of great benefits to individuals and community if there is a sense of self-discovery, safe learning, supportive involvement. But finding a drop of political among decision makers has been an on-going challenge for decades.
Water and sports town
Various public institutions in southwestern Pennsylvania have swimming pools with available times. Some pools are in high schools. Other pools are in middle schools. Pools are at all the corners of the district including colleges, libraries and recreational sites. Getting two-hour blocks of time for the use of the pools is an easy task. However, getting citizens from one area to visit others facilities around town, or else even in their own neighborhood is a challenge. The swim pools and these Try-Outs can be good motivators to get the community engaged at different pools.
District schedules can be established for Triumph Try-Outs. If a family is busy on a Friday night when a Try-Out is slated for that student’s school, that couple could easily take in a session slated for Saturday morning at another school, or Saturday afternoon on the other side of town. The schools and pools can be open and friendly places for the citizens.
The success and long-term impact of PPS Community Schools hinges on the draw of the activities to the parents, guardians and citizens. And, a great way to get the participation is to offer a meaningful recreational activity with dynamic coaching leadership.
To accompany is to go or be together. Accompaniment is to perform together. Accompaniment occurs for a richer effect. The accompanist is the person who plays the accompaniment.
The accompaniment concept enriches the lesson plan with the Triumph Try-Outs. Our students and children need to understand and appreciate that they can set out on life with background helpers at home, accompaniment. It takes a village. Triumphs do not happen in isolation. Support networks need to be visited, tested, understood, and explored.
Adult accompaniment can be from a parent. But, any adult can come to these sessions. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, big brothers, and mentors are welcomed. Perhaps the high school students and varsity athletes could accompany middle-school and elementary school students. We might have a list of adults who want to join and accompany. Some adults could manage two or three children so that each student has guidance and a potential partner.
The Triumph Try-Outs offer participants repeat-worthy periods. Repeat attendance is welcomed as the lesson-plans flow from an open-ended structure. Each Try-Out lesson has different activities, new games, different skills.
Learning to swim and being fit is a lifelong endeavor.
A couple could sign-up and participate in ten Try-Outs in the course of the summer and have great experiences multiple times. Enjoy on-going results.
Detailed lesson plans are posted in advance of the sessions. Advanced understanding of the themes of the practice helps to prepare the students and attract more participation. For example, a class on flip-turns is going to be an attraction for some. People will go out of their way to attend a Try-Out if they have a peek at the agenda. Advance postings of lesson agendas insure participants that activities are not the same-old same old.
- Class period length, 120-minutes.
- Lifeguard needed.
- Lifeguard staff is provided by the organizers.
- Participants bring swim suits, swim goggles, beach towel and t-shirt.
- Sign-up forms could/should be done and submitted in advance.
- Participants should RSVP in advance as space is limited.
- On-line sign-ups encouraged.
- On-line attendance is posted as some sessions may “fill.”
- Class capacity depends, in part, upon facility. Various pools have various amounts of deck space, seating areas, water space.
- Class capacity depends, in part, upon coaching staffing and administration elements.
- Typical Try-Out registration limit is 30 student and adult couples.
Suite of activities serving aquatic, athletic and academic missions.
- Engagement among the children and adults in meaningful lifelong learning within the PPS buildings.
- Play matters.
- Promote and pilot a new wave to learning and self-discovery.
The interplay among the various programs and the overall method matters
Efforts and structures are needed to migrate the participants to various levels at various ages throughout this lifelong learning process.
The children within Pittsburgh can have a much richer experience with the activities with the creation of buddies that are nearby as well as buddies that are farther away. Our program in Pittsburgh can become a buddie with the programs around the region and nation.
A healthy and vibrant network of buddies should have nodes that are close and other notes that are remote. These concepts take a proactive stance on forming connections in our web of life and aquatics with friends at all levels.
- Adult Accompaniment Swimming Lessons
- One never step into the same river twice. The open-ended Try-Out agenda welcomes repeat participants.
- Sign-up early and often.
Recreational Reading and SKWIM game play, two activities with two settings
Students spend time at the school, hopeful in a library near computers. Then the students walk to a local pool.
- No buses needed.
- Half-Days: 8:30 am to noon, Noon to 5 pm
- Many locations exist
- Registration required
- Ages: 6 to 16
- New USA Swimming Registration needed per swimmer. Flex membership costs $20 for annual fee.
- Equipment: goggles, fins, disks, caps, headbands, swim suits, t-shirts, workbooks, goals, web assets. Most can be supplied by organizers.
Rec Reading & Olympicpedia
- Reading of maps, email, web sites, charts, quiz taking, online courses and digital movies.
- Writing of email, fitness journal, concept maps, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.
- Daily homework and thinking exercises.
Huddle time: 8:30 am
Early Lesson: 8:40 am
Walk, stretch, exercise: 9:15
Late Lesson: 11:40
optional library time: after lunch