Be safe – learn to swim at YHS

Jozef Cempa, 6, had only one desire after he finished a daily swimming class at Yosemite High School.

“I want to swim,” Cempa repeatedly pleaded with his mother, Amanda Cempa, who enrolled him in his first-ever swimming classes. “I want to swim some more.”

Amanda Cempa smiled as she apologized - an appointment with an optometrist was in store- but assured her “little fish,” as she called him, that they’d be back the next day.

“I think these lessons are very important for young children,” Cempa’s mother added. “It’s not only learning about how to swim, it’s about safety. It’s huge that they learn how to swim properly and keep safe.”

Cempa and dozens of other swimmers joined two-week Fast Start programs through Yosemite High School, which contracts with America’s Kids, a Clovis-based company that offers classes in swimming and tumbling gymnastics.

The classes, held Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in 30-minute sessions at the Yosemite High School pool, began last month and will finish their second two-week session Friday.

A third, and final session for the year will be held July 27 - Aug. 7, with sign ups still available.

Mia Summers, an instructor certified in first aid and CPR, said she loved being able to teach her Mountain Area swimming students in everything from backstrokes to diving, as well as maintaining one’s breath in the water.

“They make my day so fun,” Summers said. “This job has been both a privilege and a reward.”

She added it was important to teach children the importance of having fun in water, but more importantly, making sure they remember to stay safe, particularly when close to rivers, lakes, or other sources.

“Rural areas like Oakhurst have more water hazards so swim lessons should be a high priority,” Summers said.

Fast Start sessions are available to children of all ages, cost $109 for 10 lessons, with a $35 registration and insurance fee for one year from the date paid.

That fee covers an entire family, whether it’s one enrolled child or several more.

Details: America’s Kids, (559) 324-7946, or visit