RADFORD – The new pilot swimming program in Radford City Schools is wildly popular among students, staff and parents, and all would like to see the program expanded.
The current program includes all second graders getting a six-week swimming lesson course at the Dedmon Center pool through a partnership between RCS and Radford University. By the end of the school year, all second graders will be getting six, one-hour swimming lessons through the program. Tuesday, students, parents and McHarg teachers told the Radford City School Board what the program has meant to them.
“This program has been beyond our expectations,” said McHarg Principal Ellen Denny. “It is one of the best programs I have ever seen at McHarg.”
Dedmon Center’s Natatorium Director and Head Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach Randy Jarman has been an excellent partner in the program, said RCS Superintendent Dr. Becky Greer.
“This is a great partnership,” said Greer, who also thanked Radford Mayor Dr. Bruce Brown for offering the idea that swimming should be part of the physical education curriculum for Radford City Schools.
“Mayor Brown said he felt children growing up in the New River City should be taught to swim,” said Greer, “so we thank him for the idea.”
Brown was in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting along with Councilmen Tim Cox and Keith Marshall to hear public comments about the future of the McHarg School building. With discussions underway about the future of McHarg School, the addition of an indoor pool facility in a renovated McHarg was broached on several occasions at Tuesday’s meeting. If the school was to be renovated and a new gymnasium was added to the structure, Greer, parents and teachers said they would like to see a pool facility added so the swim program could be expanded to more grade levels. The pool facility would also be used by the Radford High School Swimming team and likely would be open in some capacity to the public-at-large.
Three second graders from Dana DeHart’s class spoke at Tuesday’s meeting about their experience at swim school.
“I learned how to do new things,” said Allie Brown, who spoke along with Nicole Robinette and Autumn Howard. “I want to do it again.”