Weekly YMCA program brings many together to swim and socialize
JOHNSTOWN -- Making a splash at the YMCA, almost every Saturday during the school year, people of all ages get a chance to soak their toes in the pool and swim.
"There's a lot of things that they do learn here,” Carol Zallar said. “They learn how to be part of team. They learn to get along.”
They are people with a range of different disabilities participating in the ARC program, the Association for Retarded Citizens.
"I like it here cause I need to swim, do my exercise," Chris Crooks said.
Crooks is 45-years-old, living with Down syndrome.
And he says he's been coming to the “Y” for a long time.
"I like to do freestyle and kick and everything," Crooks said.
It's a program where people of all ages learn to swim and work on mobility skills.
Assistant director of the program, Carol Zallar, who has a brother with special needs, says it's a joy to be a part of the activities.
"Every week when they come in and greet you, its like the first time they see you, with their big smiles and their hugs,” Zallar said. “You could have such a bad day and they come in and they're just like so happy to see you."
She's been working with the program for more than 30 years, giving many an outlet to socialize.
"I like my friends a lot in here. It's just great," Crooks said.
And for Chris and more than a dozen others it's a place to just have some fun.
"The pool is fun. I don't care if it's cold or hot. I don't care," he said.