Thanks to donation, kids can learn to swim for free

Let’s be honest here, the summer would be a little boring and really hot without taking a nice refreshing dip in one of the city’s pools.

Could you imagine a life without making a giant splash courtesy of a classic cannonball or jumping off the ping board into the deep end to look for lost money? But before you can pe right in, you’ve got to know what you’re doing in the water. You can only wear those arm floaties for so long. You start to get some funny looks when they’re part of the pool attire at our age.

And since the city is filled with pools – seven to be exact – it’s pretty important that every child knows how to swim. Especially since kids can go to the pools by themselves starting at age 10. And the Concord Parks and Recreation Department feels the same way.

“If you know how to swim you can do it ’til you’re 100,” said Recreation Supervisor Laura Bryant.

Every year, close to 300 children sign up for swim lessons during the summer months and learn a skill that they’ll hopefully never forget. Thanks to a sponsorship from Concord Housing and Redevelopment, area children can do so for free this summer.

“All Concord and Penacook residents will be eligible for free swim lessons,” Bryant said. “We’ve never offered free swim lessons before.”

During a normal summer, when a sweet sponsorship doesn’t come along and residents have to pay, swim lessons cost $30 for residents and $40 for non-residents. Think about all the ice cream you could get with the savings.

Each child is eligible for one free lesson, which is actually a total of eight classes. Lessons are typically held Monday through Thursday for two straight weeks. Lessons are offered at five of the seven city pools and begin Monday, June 22, just two days after the pools officially open for business June 20.

Pre-registration is required for all lessons and registration begins Tuesday, May 12. So you might want to sign up early just to make sure you get a spot.

“They will be available until the lessons are full,” Bryant said. “There’s like 150 lessons offered during the summer and about eight kids per lesson.”

To register, call 225-8690 or visit

Author: Tim Goodwin

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