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Port Huron City Recreation Grants

Posted on July 26, 2011

This summer, the Community Foundation of St. Clair County funded Port Huron City Recreation’s Free Swimming and Lunch Program. A grant from the Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee, provided youth, ages 7-18, with one day a week of free swimming. Two additional free swim days were funded by the Cleland Community Youth Fund. These grants totaled $4,300.

Nancy Winzer, Director of the City of Port Huron Recreation Department, explained the benefits of the Free Swim Program. “These grants have been great for kids to get the opportunity to become more comfortable in the water. The more comfortable they are, the more apt they are to learn how to swim. The exposure to swimming in a safe, comfortable environment allows them to learn.”

The free swim days take place at Sanborn and Court Street Pools in Port Huron. Kids can arrive between 3-5 each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the Court Street Pool and 1-3 on Tuesdays at the Sanborn Pool, but they are welcome to stay later once they are in the pool. When kids arrive, they are first given lunch, and then they swim. Parents can feel comfortable leaving their kids at the pools- they always have a full lifeguard staff on duty.

While there, kids have the opportunity to learn about pool and swimming safety as well. Tuesdays are Swim Safety days at Sanborn and Wednesdays are the Swim Safety days at Court Street. The free safety lessons teach kids about water safety and how to stay safe while in the pool. Life guards make the Swim Safety Days fun for the kids, using flotation devices and energetic attitudes, they keep the kids engaged. On one Safety Day, the kids laughed as the lifeguards demonstrated what happens when trying to rescue a drowning person while standing (you should lie on your stomach instead), and they were certain to stress the importance of staying safe when trying to help a drowning victim. “Throw, pull, never go”, the kids repeated in unison, referencing how to rescue a drowning individual. “Never enter the water yourself, or you will have two people drowning,” explained the lifeguard.

This program runs for the entire pool season and ends August 12. On average, 100 kids participate in each free swim day at Court Street Pool, and about 70 kids partake in the free swim at Sanborn Pool. Winzer stated, “A kid said to me, “This is like my vacation for the summer!””

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