AYER -- The Parks Department will be offering swimming lessons at Sandy Pond Beach beginning July 8. The park offers two two-week sessions in five levels, according each swimmer's experience level.
The two-week sessions are offered in the morning and evening.
All water safety instructors are certified by Red Cross. There are usually one to two instructors per class depending on the size. According to Jeff Thomas, Ayer Parks Department supervisor, there is no deadline to apply, but he recommends people who want to participate should apply immediately.
"To guarantee acceptance, people need to fill out a form by June 15 because the classes fill up quickly." He said.
The cost to apply for level 1-3 classes is $45 for residents and $55 for nonresidents. Classes for this session are 30 minutes. For levels 4 and 5, the cost is $55 for residents and $65 for nonresidents and these classes last for 45 minutes.
An intro to water safety class is offered for advance swimmers that teaches an introduction to lifeguarding skills. The cost for this four-class session is $30.
There are no restrictions. Swimmers of all ages can apply. Even the Mommy/Daddy and Me swimming class is offered to children from the age of 6 months to 3 years old. In this class, parents must accompany their children. Instructors introduce the child to water while teaching parents how to help their child learn early swimming skills.
Thomas says that the lifeguards provide a safe environment for students. He also says that there have been no drownings or major incidents at Sandy Pond Beach. However, at least once every two years, minor incidents have occurred that require lifeguards to perform life-saving techniques. He credits waterfront Director Heidi Januskiewicz for insuring the safety of all swimmers.
"I am extremely proud of our lifeguards." He said.
To register for swimming lessons at Sandy Pond Beach, call 978-501-1531 or visit the Parks Department on the town website.