Story time for tots at Newman Aquatic Centre

6 November 2021
A new Infant Aquatics program launched recently at Newman Aquatic Centre has proven very popular with members of the local community.

Library Services staff member reads a book to children at Newman Aquatic Centre‘Story Time at the Pool’ debuted in October as a joint initiative between The Shire of East Pilbara’s Library Services and Aquatic Services teams. The program aims to educate parents and children of Newman in water safety. 

“We host Story Time at the Pool on the first Friday of every month, with Library Services providing the storytelling using the Laurie Lawrence Boo’s Adventure books and a swimming instructor conducting an in-the-water water safety class,” says Mel Warren, Coordinator Aquatic Services.

The first session attracted a large group, with 19 children aged 0-5 attending the session with their parents. Participants thoroughly enjoyed the program, and staff were very pleased with how well it turned out.

“I wasn’t sure how well it would go,” said Mel. “I was blown away with the number of people who attended the morning and the feedback we have since received has been amazing! The knock-on effect from the morning meant we received additional bookings in our Infant Aquatics program.”

Parents and children in the pool for infant aquatics lesson at Newman Aquatic CentreNewman Aquatic Centre is a Royal Life Saving Endorsed Swim School and is a provider of the Royal Life Saving Infant Aquatics program. Infant Aquatics encourages the development of aquatic skills suitable to a child’s developmental stage, and is taught with the parent or carer in the pool with the child. The program uses songs, games and activities with the parent or carer providing guidance and support to develop water familiarisation, exploration and water safety skills.

“We feel that this joint venture will greatly benefit the community of Newman in educating parents and children in water safety,” said Mel. The program has been made possible thanks to funding from Principal Community Partner BHP and, due to its popularity, there are now plans to extend the program to Marble Bar.

Drowning remains the leading cause of preventable death among toddlers in Australia, with one-year-olds at the greatest risk. Teaching water safety skills from a young age is just one of the measures being taken to address the alarming drowning figures in the 0-4 age group.

Learn more about the Infant Aquatics program and where you can enrol locally at the link below.
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