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Red Cross in need of water safety instructors

| August 1, 2014

WARSAW – The Red Cross is hoping a new generation of volunteers will step up and help keep it’s learn to swim program at Warsaw going.

“Most of our water safety instructors have been doing this 20 some years,” said Sher Alloway, instructor/instructor trainer disaster service with the Red Cross. “A lot of them started when their children were in swim class. We are sending out a plea to parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to become water safety instructors.”

To be a water safety instructor, you have to be at least 16 years old and attend a water safety instructor class. The classes are free of charge and are held from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept. 2-25, at Coshocton High School.

There is pool and classroom work and you don’t have to be superman around the pool to become an instructor,” Alloway said. “We really need more instructors because Warsaw’s (swim) classes are in the morning and a lot of our instructors work during the day and can’t volunteer.”

There were 24 kids signed up for level 1A lessons alone and the program offers six levels of lessons that teach kids to be comfortable and safe around the water.

“We really only want 15 kids per instructors, but we have water helpers and clipboard moms who help out,” Alloway said.

Swimming lessons are offered in two-week sessions at the River View Community Pool and Lake Park Aquatic Center and are for children ages 6 to 13 or 14 years old. The Red Cross also used to offer swimming lessons for babies and adults, but those programs had to be canceled due to lack of instructors.

One of the instructors who has donated his time for 25 years is Dale Caley.

“I like helping children learn to swim,” he said. “It’s rewarding.”

Darrell Dunfee took swimming lessons from the Red Cross as a child in the 1950s and has been a water safety instructor for 30 years. His children and grandchildren also have taken lessons from the Red Cross.

“It’s really satisfying to have a kid who has never been in the water or won’t dunk their head in the water and you can get them to swim,” he said.

Another benefit of becoming a water safety instructor is that you don’t pay for your kids or grandkids lessons if you volunteer for the two-week session. For more information on the classes, call Alloway at 202-0898.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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