Some of our youngest students worked to advance their swimming and water safety skills this fall. Students from 1st to 4th grade plunged into the pool at the Steward Family Aquatic Center and William R. Orthwein Pool for five consecutive school days as their first class of the day. This swimming course has now become an important and beloved unit in the Lower School physical education curriculum.
Director of Aquatics Programs and Facilities Khannie Dastgah (also known as “Coach Khannie”) guided the children through specific, age-appropriate swimming techniques and water safety skills. Lower School PE Teachers Sue Orlando and Jim Lohr, as well as the children’s homeroom teachers, worked with small groups of children, at times individually, to help them master each phase of the skill. In addition, Coach Khannie’s father, legendary swim coach Hossein Dastgah, also assisted with the swim lessons.
It is quite impressive to watch the students advance their skills from Monday to Friday. Each child learns at their own pace, which is made possible by the individual attention and words of encouragement that the numerous teachers in the pool provide for each child, no matter where they were in their skill development.
The stated objectives for children in the swim unit are as follows: to develop water safety skills and water confidence; to understand water survival and basic stroke techniques, and to participate in an activity that can help improve their health and fitness. The program is meeting these objectives and more – all while providing a fun, exciting and memorable experience for each and every child at Beasley.