“When I help kids do something they couldn’t do before. It’s indescribable," said Stevi Giurco of Westport Y.
The Westport Weston Y is now offering a group swim progam, specifically designed for special needs children. And, it’s making is largely due to one person’s hard work.
"The Aquatics Director Nicole approached me with it," said Stevi. “I do teach a lot of kids on their own but we wanted to make it more of a social thing.”
Stevi Giurco is a swim instructor here at the Y, and more recently became the coordinator of Aquafins: A brand new therapeutic swim program for kids, ages 6-14 with special needs.
"We get at least three to four calls a day about special needs swimming," she pointed out.
The first class hasn’t even hit the pool, and already it’s a big hit. That's largely due to the fact that few programs like this exist.
Stevi’s training is what will the big difference. Already she teaches kids privately who have special needs, and she tells me a little bit about her tricks of the trade.
"This may sound weird but - singing," she said. "Singing actually gets them very interactive and sometimes they sing a couple of words. I also have an I-Pad that I take in the pool with me. There are visual pictures I show them. Even though they're swimming, I try to make it like a classroom lesson," she explained.
Starting on June 30th, the program will run for five weeks. The Cost to Y members is $160 and non-members can join in for $185. All participants will need to take an assessment prior to registering, and you can learn more by going to www.westporty.org.
The program will run until Aug. 1st. But, looking at the demand, Stevi says there’s reason to believe it will be offered again.