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City kicks off summer season of swim programs
Monday was the kick-off for the summer aquatics program offered by the city of Ceres.

A team of Red Cross certified staff members are offering classes at the Ceres High School pool to teach youngsters six months and up how to swim.

On Monday, Christina Rhoads watched as her son Elijah received his first day of instructions from Caitlin Imelio.

"Just to be safe," said Rhoads. "My parents have a pool. He's been using a life jacket for a year. I want him to be able to swim by himself."

Currently Session I swim lessons are closed and run until June 23 but Session II runs July 5-14 and Session III runs July 26 to August 4. Cost is $40 per session and includes eight classes.

Lessons are for those six months of age and up. Cost is $40 per session of eight classes.

Lessons are staged on different levels based on on swimming ability. There is an infant and toddlers class, pre-school class as well as Level I through Level V classes. Each class starts out with a five-minute safety lesson and 40 minutes of water instruction, except for the toddler class which is only 30 minutes long.

The pre-school and toddler class is basically about weening students from their parents and making them more independent in the water. Level I gets students to float on their back without fear. Level II focuses on freestyle swimming across the pool. Levels 3-5 hone swimming skills and become better divers and learning breast- and back-strokes.

All lessons will be held at the Ceres High School pool. Levels and times vary so call 538-5682 for more information.

The city's Open Swim program allows the public to cool off in the pool Fridays and Saturdays through the summer from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $2 per children and $2.50 per adult. Children 12 and younger must be supervised by an adult. The pool will not be available for open swims on June 18, 24-25, and July 8, 22-23. The city's open swim program is over Saturday, Aug. 6.

The city's water aerobics has and remains to be popular with the over 18 crowd and is perfect for those in their twilight years or who suffer from arthritis. The program stretches and tones muscles using water resistance to work the body harder but avoiding aches and pains due to the low impact nature of the aerobic activity. Water aerobics is offered 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, June 13 to August 2. Cost is $45 per participant with a 10 percent discount to those who are 55 and older.

Water polo camp, new this year, will serve as an introduction to the sport of water polo. Participants will learn a variety of skills, including: passing and shooting drills, dribbling, treading water, field and body positioning, and introduction to game play. T-shirt and certificate included in price of camp. Sessions will be held Mondays and Wednesdays, July 6 to August 1 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Cost is $60 per person.

The city is also offering an aquatics camp for children aged five years and older and Level I graduates. Children will explore through swim lessons, games, music, relays, and crafts. Children must provide their own sack lunch (snacks will be provided).

Session I runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, June 28 to July 1; while Session II runs Monday through Thursday, July 18 to July 21. Cost of enrollment is for $75 and includes a camp T-shirt.

The city's Junior Lifeguard Camp is designed for kids aged 11 to 15 years of age, and allows all participants to acquire hands-on experience in all areas of lifeguard skills. the camp is offered 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 5 to July 28. Cost is $60 and includes T-shirt and certificate.

Pre-registration is required for all the aquatics programs (except for open swim) at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street or online at Call 538-5682 for additional information.