Free swim, stories, music at the recreation complex

Making family fun free and accessible in Williams Lake is the focus of National Child Day on Nov. 20 and 23.

Making family fun free and accessible in Williams Lake is the focus of National Child Day on Nov. 20 and 23.

Families and kids can enjoy a free swim at Cariboo Memorial Complex thanks to members of the Early Children Development Network (ECDN) in Williams Lake.

On Wednesday, Nov. 20 the wading pool is open from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the pool is open from 5:30 to 8 p.m. for the event, which includes a pajama story time and a snack after swimming.

“What’s so fun about this is seeing families spending time together,” says Joan Lozier, School District 27 early years co-ordinator.

“It represents what it means to look at the whole child — the physical part, the literacy connection and the social aspect. It’s great to see young children sitting on mom and dad’s lap reading a story together after a swim. It’s the whole picture.”

Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, Children First, Cariboo Regional District library and Success by 6 are behind the family swim sessions, and children’s services manager at Women’s Contact Society Beaulah Munson said that at this second annual event they have extended the hours to accommodate families with younger children.

“The purpose is to make us aware of our amazing kids and celebrate their awesomeness. What’s so fun is that kids can get out of the pool, have a shower and enjoy an interactive story time in their pajamas with their parents and a group of new friends. Last year we sent a book and a toothbrush home with the kids,” Munson explained.

“It was a wonderful bonding opportunity for parents and kids to enjoy a story read by somebody else. Parents hold their kids on their lap or sit beside them, and the children are so excited to have mom or dad beside them listening to the story.”

Another part of the event ‘expansion’ is holding second free family swim on Saturday, Nov. 23 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. for parents who find weekend afternoons more convenient. The second free family swim also includes a snack, a gift bag and fun with music with Success by 6.

“It’s such a privilege to be part of a coalition working together for families in our communities,” Munson continued. “I’m really looking forward to these fun swims. Children are unspeakably delighted to have that experience with their parents. Last year the children were so tickled to see the other kids they’d been in the pool with, sitting on the carpet and sharing stories.”

Speech and language pathologist Alys Wardlaw said that celebrating National Child Day is a great way to focus on our most precious resource – our young children. “These free family swims, with story time and music for little ones are accessible to the whole community. This is for everyone,” she said. “These are our future leaders and we want them to be well-rounded from childhood; our support of children and families is so important.”

For more information about the free family swim sessions, contact the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex at 250-398-7665.