Alma Preschool Center in East Los Angeles offers its preschoolers a fun and unique way to gain self-confidence, learn healthy habits as well as discover the importance of setting goals. It’s through their aquatic program, where children are required to take a weekly swimming lesson as part of their overall classroom curriculum to help these children become kindergarten ready.
“Many of these children in the beginning were afraid to even go into the pool, let alone try to put their little faces underwater,” said Delfina Munoz, mother of four-year-old Alina. Munoz says she is happy that now her daughter has conquered her fear of the pool, and looks forward to swimming after preschool every week.
The Alma Center Preschool is an inclusive school, bringing together typically developing four-year-olds and children with special needs. By incorporating swimming into the curriculum, Preschool Teacher Denisse Alonzo said “it really helps soothe my preschool students, especially those with Autism. The swimming lessons are extremely therapeutic.”
The swim coaches and preschool teachers all work together in the water, teaching the kids about swim safety, the importance of perseverance, as well as good sportsmanship, responsibility and self-discipline.
“This additional program really enhances what we’re learning in our traditional preschool program,” said Alonzo.
The end of the preschool year culminates with the yearly swim meet invitational, a big event for these preschoolers who proudly display all the skills learned over the past year.
“None of us in our family know how to swim, but now our daughter does,” stated Munoz. “She’s like a little fish and we are so grateful to Alma Center and Los Angeles Universal Preschool for providing this experience to our children. “
For more information on neighborhood preschool programs, contact Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) at www.laup.net or (866) 675-5400.