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City Views

City Views presents commentary from staff on the latest projects, initiatives, and successes.

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Jun 23

Summer Aquatics Program Makes Big Splash

Posted on June 23, 2015 at 1:31 PM by OCOM Specialist


photo 3Summer break is officially here and the Community Center is offering a wide variety of fun and exciting classes for the season! One of these is an adaptive aquatics program, started by City of Falls Church teen, Sarah Miller.

This program is designed for youth with developmental delays. Volunteer swimming instructors contact the parents of each participant to determine the goals and specific needs of the child. The children then work one-on-one with their instructor each week to learn swimming skills and have fun. 

The program was started by Sarah Miller, a recent graduate of George Mason High School, who has been teaching swimming skills to kids with special needs since the age of 13. 

“I felt like it was important that our City residents with special challenges have a learn-to-swim option that is nearby and cost-effective,” says Miller.

In preparation for the course, Miller not only worked with therapists to design a comprehensive plan for the program, but she also received her Water Safety Instructor certification and recruited and trained a staff of dedicated volunteer instructors.

Miller reminds volunteers that everyone learns at their own pace, and to rejoice in small steps and gradual progress. She says that her favorite thing about teaching these classes is “watching the kids’ change in attitude towards the water from the first session to the last.”

This amazing teen is also making waves outside of the pool. Miller has served as her school’s student body president, graduated with a 4.327 GPA, and plans to study neurobiology and cognitive-executive functioning at Dartmouth this fall.

We are so proud of Little City residents like Sarah Miller who use their talents to give back to the community!

The adapted aquatics program is available to youth in a six week lesson format on Wednesdays from 1 to 1:30pm from July 8 to August 12. Activity # is 385116-B. For more information, call the Recreation Department at 703-248-5027 or register online.