Swimming Lessons for Brookshire Students

From August 28 to October 12, 2018, students at Brookshire Elementary made their way to Cady Way Pool where they splashed, kicked, and had a whole lot of fun as they improved their swimming skills.  236 Brookshire students from Kindergarten through fifth grade received lessons from Coach Topps and volunteers.

As always, it takes a village to make special programs like this successful.  Thanks to the City of Winter Park Parks & Recreation, the Track Shack Youth Foundation, and the Brookshire Additions Volunteers & PTA for their support!

Pool Safety

Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages one to four? Don’t forget to sign up your kids for swimming lessons this summer! Check out these simple pool safety tips and learn how to teach children to be safe in and around the water.

Swim Lessons for Brookshire Students

Over the past six weeks, 229 students from Brookshire Elementary participated in weekly swim lessons.  Students received swimming skills and water safety instruction.

Congratulations to Coach Topps and Brookshire Elementary for another successful swim lesson season!


Stay Safe While Swimming at the Beach

If you’re taking a family vacation to the beach in the coming weeks, and you’re worried about letting your children swim in the ocean, check this advice from Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Service before you go:

  • Don’t go alone in the water. People swimming by themselves are more at risk.
  • Sharks feed during the pre-dawn and twilight hours. Stay out of the water then so you aren’t mistaken for food.
  • Check for scrapes and cuts before entering the water. Sharks can detect the scent of blood from far away.
  • Take off the bling. Sharks perceive shiny jewelry and clothes the same way they perceive fish scales that glisten in the water. You don’t want to look like a shark’s main source of food.
  • Visit designated beaches – not every shore is appropriate for swimming. If you see diving seabirds or bait fishes there is most likely feeding activity in that area.
  • Don’t let your pets in the water. Their erratic movements can be mistaken for bait fish.
  • Be careful around sandbars and steep drop-offs. These are popular spots for sharks.
  • Swim when lifeguards are present- they are trained to deal with water related emergencies.
  • Do not enter the water if sharks have been spotted – just don’t.

Kids’ Sun Safety Means ‘Slip, Slap, Slop’

Summer is almost here.  Make sure your kids are protected when they’re outside by following these tips from MedLine Plus.

Slip on protective clothing, like long-sleeve shirts and long pants with an adequate UV (ultraviolet radiation) protection factor.

Slap on a hat — not just a baseball cap — to protect your face, head, ears and neck. And don’t forget to protect your eyes with sunglasses.

Slop on sunscreen — and use plenty of it to cover all your exposed skin. Then reapply it every few hours and after swimming.

SOURCE: Moffitt Cancer Center, news release

Be Active with Grandparents

Being physically active can be more fun for kids when they’re with someone they love—their grandparents.

Shared time—no matter what the activity—is bonding time.

Infants and toddlers

  • Have grandparents take them for walks in the stroller and rides on their bikes. Don’t forget their helmets.
  • Play games that get their bodies moving—Wheels on the Bus, Pretend We’re Animals, and Hide-and-Seek.
  • Sign them up for baby yoga or exercise classes.
  • Have grandparents take them to baby-friendly swimming classes.

School-aged children

  • Have grandparents walk kids to the park and push their swing.
  • Play catch, kickball, basketball, or soccer.
  • Go swimming or biking together.
  • Play a video fitness game together and see who wins!

Teens and young adults

  • Have grandparents participate in activities that interest the teens and young adults. Try hiking, fishing, skating, or tennis.
  • Go golfing or swimming. Have them participate in physical activities that require two people, such as doubles tennis.
  • Have teens and young adults help their grandparents in their garden or with heavy-duty household chores.

Pool and Swimming Safety Tips for Families

Spring Outdoor Events for Families or Schools

Welcome the warmer weather with one of these ideas for fun family activities:

  • Reading Under the Stars – focus on literacy while enjoying the beautiful spring weather
  • Garden Planting Party – a fun physical activity that encourages healthy eating
  • Spruce Up the School Day – increase family engagement while giving your school a mini makeover
  • Earth Day – this takes place on April 22 every year
  • Swim Party – partner with your local YMCA for a fun physical activity
  • Outside Movie Night – another opportunity to enjoy the spring weather, family time, and a favorite movie

Tips for Spring Outdoor Event planning:

  • Consider the weather
  • Dress for the temperature
  • Avoid schedule conflicts
  • Find a clean space
  • Practice sun safety

Visit PTO Today for additional information.

school garden spruce up


Spotlight – Brookshire Elementary Swim Lessons

Students in Kindergarten, First and Second grades at Brookshire recently completed eight weeks of weekly swim lessons.  From August 24 through October 23, each K-2nd classroom swam once per week during one of their PE periods.  The swim lessons are made possible through a grant from the Track Shack Foundation a generous in-kind donations in the form of staffing and facility costs through the YMCA of Central Florida.  Additionally, each class recruits parent volunteers to help the classroom teacher walk the children to and from the pool and supervise on the deck during the lessons.

Led by Brookshire Elementary PE Teachers and Healthy School Team Leader, Coach Randi Topps, swim lessons focus on learning water safety behaviors and basic swimming skills.  Because Coach Topps makes the swim lessons fun, by the end of the eight week unit, most children develop a love for swimming and understand it’s an excellent opportunity to participate in a fun form of exercise.  Many second grade students have advanced swimming skills by the time they complete the second grade swimming unit and a considerable number of Brookshire students even go on to participate in scouts aquatic programs,  competitive swim programs, synchronized swimming, water polo, swim camp,  or triathlon camp.

Way to go Brookshire and Coach Topps!

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