Resources to help your family develop the skills they need to stay safe this summer
Some skills come in handy, like knowing how to knit. Others, like swimming lessons, could help save your life. If you feel that being comfortable in and around water is a must for your children, below are some area facilities that can help teach you or your children valuable water safety and swim skills. Note that many classes fill up quickly. Some facilities listed below offer classes throughout the year, while others only offer lessons in the summer. It is important to register early in order to secure your spot in class.
First Strokes Swim Academy is Central Illinois’ certified instructor for Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) swim lessons, led by owner Tina Johnson. First Strokes Swim Academy is committed to delivering customized, safe, effective swimming lessons for children ages 6 months to 6 years by certified ISR instructors. In addition to a focus on survival swimming lessons for infants and young children, First Strokes provides swimming instruction to every age and ability, from beginning swimmers to accomplished Ironman Triathletes.
Dates of programming: year-round
Champaign Park District offers outdoor swim lessons during the summer season. Water and exploration classes for parents and children ages 1-2 are available as well as classes for preschoolers, youth, and even adults. Junior lifeguarding courses are available for 12-14-year-olds who desire to become lifeguards upon turning 16. Private lessons for children are also available.
Location: Sholem Aquatic Center, 2200 W. Sangamon Dr., Champaign
Dates of programming: June 6 – Aug. 5
Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center offers three sessions of summer classes, each for two weeks per session. Parent/tot, youth, and adult swim lessons are all available. The recreation department does not handle private lessons, but the pool will arrange contact between interested parties and certified lifeguards.
Location: 320 W. Flessner Ave., Rantoul
Dates of programming: June 14 – Aug. 5
Indian Acres offers swimming lessons for three to four swimmers per instructor, starting at age 3. Members receive a discount on lessons. Baby and Me lessons are offered as well as lessons for youth ages 3-13. Instructors assess swimmers on Mondays and work with your chid to determine their swim skill level. Classes are offered on nine consecutive days, Monday-Friday, with the second Friday reserved for makeup in case it is necessary to cancel class.
Location: 1 Arrow Road, Champaign
Dates of programming: June 7-July 30
Miller Aquatics offers recreational swimming lessons and competitive swimming lessons. During the summer, recreational swimming lessons are provided for three groups of swimmers: parent/tot, small group, and semi-private program. Depending on the availability of instructors, small group lessons during the fall/winter and winter/spring semesters may be offered in the Champaign-Urbana area.
Location: 1175A County Road 2500 East, Homer
Dates of programming: varies
You do not have to be a member of the Stephens Family YMCA to participate in its swim lessons but a member discount is available. The Stephens Family YMCA has three pools of varying size, privacy and temperature, zero-entry accessibility, and a highly qualified and experienced aquatics staff. Programs are offered for parent and children over 6 months of age up to 12 years of age. Private and semi-private lessons are also available. Nemo swim lessons and/or aquatic therapy for individuals that need additional assistance, accommodations, and more individualized instructions are also available through Larkin’s Place at the YMCA. Lifeguard certification course, advanced techniques, and teen/adult swim lessons are also offered.
Location: 2501 Fields South Dr., Champaign
Dates of Programming: Year Round
With both indoor and outdoor swimming facilities, Urbana Park District offers swim lessons year-round. Parent-tot lessons are available for children ages 6 months – 36 months. Progressive classes are available for preschoolers 3-5 and youth ages 6 and up. During the first week of swim sessions, instructors will evaluate and place children in the appropriate swim group. More information on the skills required for group lessons can be found here. Private and semi-private lessons are also available for children and adults. Discounts are available for those enrolling more than one child.
Location: Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center, 102 E. Michigan, Urbana and Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center, 1401 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana
Dates of Programming: Year-round
Sessions are available for both members and nonmembers of Campus Recreation programming. Parent/child lessons are available for ages 6 months to 3 years, youth graduated lessons, swim conditioning, beginner adult lessons, and adult swim for fitness classes. Private lessons are also available. Lifeguard instructor training as well as water safety instructor training is also offered through the University of Illinois campus recreation department.
Location: Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), 201 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign and Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE), 1102 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana
Dates of Programming: Year-round