April 19, 2012
12-119

Jessica Pope
Communications Specialist

VSU Swim Instructor Always Finds A Way

VALDOSTA -- Kimberly Paratore has never had a student not get in the water. She has been teaching all ages how to swim at Valdosta State University for the past five or six years.

“I always find a way to get them in the water,” said the former high school swimmer who joined the Triathlon Club as a student at VSU. “Within the first 10 minutes, I can read each student and figure out the best way to teach them. The major thing is to gain their trust from the very beginning.”

An American Red Cross-certified water safety instructor, Paratore will offer semi-private swimming lessons through VSU Continuing Education this summer. Lessons are available for ages 3 and up.

“I have seen it all,” said Paratore, who graduated from VSU with a bachelor’s degree in 2009 and a master’s degree in 2011, both from the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. “I have had grown men come in scared to death. I have had students burst into tears upon seeing the water and students who are too confident and willing to jump right in even though they cannot swim. I have also had students who know how to swim but want to learn technique and be like Michael Phelps.”

Classes are offered in the morning and in the evening in the indoor, heated Student Recreation Center pool on Sustella Avenue. The non-swimmers class is for children who need to learn basic skills to stay afloat and elementary swimming techniques. The swimmers class is for children who are comfortable in the water and who can demonstrate basic swimming and floating techniques. Adult only classes are held in the evening and are open to any level of swimming ability.

“I have had some students who went from being non-swimmers to being able to dive in the deep end and swim 50-meter laps,” Paratore said. “You get out of it what you put into it. I love teaching people how to swim. I encounter so many different types of students, and seeing them succeed means the world to me.”

Children’s classes are limited to four students. Adult classes are limited to five. All classes must have a minimum of three students. All children must be toilet trained.

Classes are offered for 40 minutes, five days a week and cost $65 per week. The only exception is the week of May 29-June 1 and the week of July 2-6, which are four-day weeks and cost $54. Students can register for one week, two weeks, or multiple weeks throughout the summer depending on their needs and schedules.

To register for swimming lessons, please call Valdosta State University Continuing Education at (229) 245-6484, email Sue Bailey at subailey@valdosta.edu, or visit www.valdosta.edu/conted/. Registrations will only be accepted by phone or walk-in. Continuing Education is located at 903 N. Patterson St.


American Red Cross Learn-To-Swim Program Levels

• Level 1: Introduction to Water Skills. Helps students feel comfortable in the water and to enjoy the water safely.

• Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills. Gives students success with fundamental skills.

• Level 3: Stroke Development. Builds on the skills in Level 2 by providing additional guided practice.

• Level 4: Stroke Improvement. Develops confidence in the strokes learned and to improve other aquatic skills.

• Level 5: Stroke Refinement. Provides further coordination and refinement of strokes.

• Level 6: Swimming and Skill Proficiency. Refines the strokes so students swim them with ease, efficiency, power, and smoothness over greater distances.