Junior Optimist Club creates adaptive swim lessons for special needs children

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By Sophie Nulph

The Zionsville Junior Optimist Club has created adaptive swim lessons for children with special needs.

The program provides private, one-on-one lessons between trained volunteers and children. They are offered at the Zionsville Community Schools Aquatic Center, 1000 Mulberry St.

Sessions are available through May 2020 Each session contains four, one-hour classes on Sundays, at either 11 a.m. or noon. Cost is $10 per session.

Classes are open to special needs children above the age of 3. The adaptive lessons teach the children how to swim while meeting individual needs.

Zionsville Aquatics Director Lisa Brown said 91 percent of all accidental deaths among children with autism is drowning.

“If we get even one child safer in the water and prevent one drowning, the entire process is worth it,” Brown said.

Brown will assist in lessons with the Junior Optimist Club throughout the sessions.

The club was recently established at Zionsville High School and focuses on community service projects. The adaptive swimming lessons are the club’s first project.

Christy Gregory is a part of the adult Zionsville Optimist Club and mother of a member in the junior club.

“The purpose of the Zionsville Junior Optimist club is to provide opportunities for members to participate in community serving activities, develop leadership abilities and prepare for responsible roles in society,” Gregory said.

The club is an offshoot of the Zionsville Optimist Club, an organization founded in 1981 to serve youth. The two organizations are a part of Optimist International.

To register for sessions, visit aquatic.zionsvilleeaglerec.com/adaptive-swim-lessons.cfm.

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