For someone whose summer social life centers almost entirely around the pool, it's kind of a shame I don't like getting in the water. I am happy to spend hours watching my children, even the children of others, do water ballet moves, the backstroke and go off the diving board -- as long as it's from the safety of a comfortable deck chair. I take my refusal to get my hair wet so seriously in fact, that I rarely even put on a swimsuit.
But all my stay-dry tactics aside, I do know how to swim. I learned in elementary school and am absolutely safe to take on a boat, to the lake, or even white water rafting. And I have insisted that my kids take lessons, at least through Red Cross Level Six, as well. I've told my daughter that her strokes don't need to be pretty, but they do need to be mastered. Even the ever-elusive butterfly; it's a family rule. I remind my kids they are very fortunate to get the chance to learn to swim as part of their summer activities. Not every kid in Madison can say the same.
When Shelley Glover was a child, she'd come home from Lincoln School, and tell her mother Carmella that she wished all the kids in her class could have as much fun as she did playing sports. She loved summer swimming with the Shorewood Pool Sharks and playing soccer for the 56ers. Eventually her love of ski racing led her to become one of the best alpine ski racers to come out of the Midwest and she was named to the U.S. Ski development team at age 15. Tragically, Shelley died in 2004 in a ski training accident at the age of 17.
In 2005, to honor her legacy, the Shelley Glover Sports Education Foundation was founded to make sure that more kids, regardless of their financial situation, get the chance to know the joy and health benefits of participating in sports, especially Glover's beloved soccer, skiing and swimming.
The organization's first fundraiser, Kids Swimming for Kids [PDF], took place at Shorewood Pool that same year. My oldest son, eight at the time and enjoying his first summer as a Shark, eagerly gathered pledges for every lap he swam. The excitement at the pool that morning was palpable and I vividly remember meeting Carmella, hearing Shelley's story, and understanding what a gift her foundation was to the community. Since its inception, Kids Swimming for Kids has expanded to eight area pools and raises more than $12,000 each summer. Over $150,000 has been raised to date with much of this money going to develop the Goodman Waves (http://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/pool/swimTeam.cfm), the public pool's first swim team. This year the Goodman Waves has 105 swim team members; forty swimmers receive scholarships.
But you don't have to be a (Shorewood) Shark, a (Westside) Dolphin, or a (Hill Farms) Cow swim team member to get the chance to support this wonderful cause. Because Thursday, July 19 from 7-9 pm the first, and hopefully annual, Shelley Glover Sports Education Foundation City-Wide Pool Party will be held at the Goodman Pool. For just a $10 donation per person you get an evening of swimming, entertainment provided by Celebrations, and a hot dog snack. All funds raised will benefit the Kids Swimming for Kids program, allowing further access to swim lessons, pool passes and swim team scholarships for deserving kids at Goodman.
No, I can't be persuaded to go under water easily. But I can't think of a better reason to actually don a swimsuit this week, blistering heat aside, than to honor Shelley's legacy and her gift to the Madison community.comments powered by Disqus
If there is an excuse for not working out and eating healthy, I have used it: I don't have time. I'm too tired. I'll start tomorrow. I'm no good at this, I give up. I don't know where to start. Yes, I have used all of these and more.
At almost a year old, my kids are in the blissful stage of life where they'll eat nearly anything that I put in front of them (at least as long as it doesn't require much in the way of molar action).
My family recently went through something that we have not experienced in over eight years. We have become a household that no longer harbors a crib or a changing table.
"There really is no wrong way to do it." That's how Madeline, age 13, describes creating artwork. She and her classmates at Prairie View Middle School in Sun Prairie are honing their artistic skills by participating in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's Art on Tour program.
I'm having trouble enjoying the season, because I can't keep myself from thinking about the miserable weather that's sure to be following close on the heels of the crisp, pleasant fall we've been having. I am not at all emotionally prepared to be the parent of two toddlers during a Wisconsin winter.
I've always been a supporter of companies that empower women and girls, and when the creator of such a company is a fellow Wisconsinite, I get even more excited. When Melissa Wardy of Janesville got fed up with stereotypes found in clothing for girls, she started her own company.
Do you have a little reader or an aspiring teenaged writer in your house? If so, you may want to venture to the Wisconsin Book Festival this weekend, to whet their appetite for wonderful words as well as your own.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband and I had two names picked out. Upon her arrival we had not yet come to a conclusion on what that name would be. Everyone told us that when we saw her we would just know. We didn't.
At age 10 months, my kids have seen the zoo a lot already. I was a zoology major in college, and I have something of a zoo addiction still, so the twins (and their dad) are more or less condemned to a future rife with zoo visits.
Home-schooling can be a lonely proposition. Even as a college professor, Juliana Hunt remembers struggling to find support to home-school her now-grown daughter. "I was always hoping to find like-minded people who were in the same position as me," she says. "I know that children learn best through a give-and-take, question-and-answer process of teaching and learning, but where do you find mentors who can make that happen?"
After sleep patterns, I think the next biggest parenting concern I have and hear about revolves around the topic of food. How can I make sure my kids are eating enough vegetables? Did I pack them a lunch that is healthy enough? What can I feed them after school that doesn't come from a box? How many gripes am I going to get about the dinner I'm about to prepare?
As far as places to embark on Baby's First Air Travel go, Dane County Regional Airport is a pretty sound choice, especially at 6 p.m. on a Saturday night. My biggest fear was that my nine-month-old son would start screaming in the airport; my second biggest fear was that my son would start screaming and some of my former Epic colleagues would be around to hear it.
The recent shift in the weather is just another sign that autumn is fast approaching. That means one of my favorite activities is just around the corner -- apple picking. My husband and I have been picking apples every fall since before our kids were born.
I have a lot of questions about what to put on my eight-month-olds' plates -- and, if I'm honest, a deep and abiding fear of putting the wrong thing there. Did I start them on solid foods at the right time? What's the deal with baby-led weaning -- how much self-feeding should they be doing? At what age should I give them potential allergens like shellfish or nut products?
Lily the potbellied pig arrived at Heartland Farm Sanctuary blind, lethargic and too overweight to walk. The children of Heartland's summer day camp program took it upon themselves to put the curl back in her tail.
Is it just me or does each summer seem to go by quicker than the last? The end of summer is upon us and for many families this means the start of a new school year.
This past week, on the way to the grocery store, my daughter asked what I believed she thought would be a innocuous question, "Mom, when are we going back-to-school shopping?"
Volunteering with the Young Writers Summer Camp this past week really helped me to remember how utterly creative kids can be when encouraged to come up with their own ideas and use their own words.
This past week I gleefully accepted an offer for new job on the UW-Madison campus. My kids are getting are older and I guess I've felt for a while now that it was time to figure out what would be next for me on the professional front.
"Kids spend so much time in and around school, it's the only place where some have a chance to develop an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle," says Katie Hensel, founder and executive director of Tri 4 Schools.