Swimming and safety in the water is for everyone! This winter, NESS is providing a “Learn to Swim” program for students from The Learning Campus of The Light House Voc-Ed Center. This program is focused on learning how to stay safe in the water and developing new swimming skills. The Light House is a school where students of all differences can learn through real life experiences and opportunities, while integrating community access, learning, independent living, and preparing individuals for the next steps in life. The school serves over 100 individuals with significant intellectual and developmental differences, as well as those with social, emotional, and behavioral needs. The Learning Campus is based in Niantic, CT and addresses the physical, emotional, and academic needs of students ages 7-21.
NESS’s highly trained and professional educators are able to fully teach to the unique needs of the students from The Light House. During the summer, students visited our Ocean Beach classroom for field expeditions by kayaking in Alewife Cove, refining motor skills, gaining comfortability on the boats, and enjoying the therapeutic qualities of being on the water. Continuing programs through the fall and winter allows the students and educations to further build relationships and build on the water skills.
Through swim lessons with NESS, the students learn new skills each week and are evaluated on each throughout the swim program to determine growth and skill level. Students also develop non-cognitive skills, such as self-confidence, communication, and independence. They focus on skills like learning to safely enter and exit the water, swim on the surface of the water, submerge their heads, blow bubbles, and open their eyes underwater. This experience exposes students to challenges and skill development outside of their classroom, in a safe, supportive environment. We hope that through all our programs, our students have access to water and comfort on the water, as well as opportunities for growth and experiences that they might not otherwise have access to.
Learn more about our adaptive programs on our website at www.nessf.org/adaptive-programs. We aim to get everyone out on the water regardless of age, skill, or ability and provide adaptive teaching methods and specialized equipment that can support individuals with a variety of cognitive and/or physical disabilities. Our adaptive programs incorporate a socially-inclusive environment and provide fun, engaging, hands-on activities.
A big thank you to The Light House for sharing these great photos with us!