Red Cross swim classes to continue

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Organization says popularity reason for return

By Amber Coulter

Local effort and popularity have caused swim classes to continue through the local chapter of the American Red Cross after the organization announced the classes were ending.

The end of swim classes was announced last summer as a Red Cross decision to use outside providers to offer such services. The change followed 50 years of lessons at the city pool in Elizabethtown.

The local office has used volunteers to teach those from 6 months old to adulthood about safety in and around the pool, along with general lessons about being careful around water, said Colleen Stufflebeam, who has worked with the program for five years.

Lessons include swim strokes and ways to enjoy time in the water, she said.

“You have water everywhere around you,” she said.

The program’s popularity and success has caused it to grow, with new and past participants taking part in lessons and several volunteers helping for more than five years, Stufflebeam said.

“We just love seeing kids come back and share their experiences with water,” she said.

That popularity and success led residents and volunteers to request lessons continue to be offered in Hardin County. The overwhelming support caused organization leaders to grant permission for lessons to continue, Stufflebeam said.

“We requested it, and we pushed for it as hard as we could,” she said. “We have a strong pull in the community, and that helped us.”

Families are pleased to hear classes will continue with three seven-day sessions this summer, Stufflebeam said.

Registration for classes at the American Red Cross office on West Dixie Avenue in Elizabethtown are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 4, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 17, 5 to 8 p.m. May 22, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 25, 1 to 5 p.m. June 5, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 28. Cost is $70.

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.