Playtime: Self-defense for girls, swim lessons, whale class

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Jen Marx

In the times of online reviews, word-of-mouth available social media posts and the “hive mind,” it is easier to make an at least somewhat informed decision when it comes to our kids. Whether it be the interventions or apps recommended in the groups I follow for kids with dyslexia or dysgraphia, to the camps/classes/trips my friends take with their families, to my recent request for help finding a swim lesson for a kid over 12 — here’s the short answer: There is a Teen/Adult Beginner option at the Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion and three Teen level classes for kids learning how to swim after the more frequently offered preschool/school-age classes.

I often think about what it would have been like to be a parent in the late ’70s and ’80s when I was a kid — I mean, we found the guy who did my “Driving School” training when a friend told me about hers and wrote the number down on a piece of paper that I gave to my Mom. Had you been there, you would know why there are quotes around driving school.

In the spirit of the “hey, did you see/hear about” tipoff that a good friend would give you, I’m adding some local resources that I’ve come across in the last few weeks offering help with water safety, bike safety, youth employment opportunities, a free self-defense class for teen girls, and a fun event learning about Orcas.

With swim lessons top of mind, I read about a Water Safety Fair in Lynnwood’s Recreation Guide. On April 3, from 4 to 6:45 p.m. at the Lynnwood Recreation Center, they are holding this family-friendly event to increase your water safety knowledge. Those in attendance will receive a free swim placement test and can attend a free rec swim while participating. They will cover the free swim lesson opportunities for students in the Edmonds School District, boating safety, cold water safety, rescue techniques, and CPR. For more information on the free event, you can contact Lynnwood Parks and Recreation at 425-670-5732.

Children learn about water safety at April Pools Day event. (Photo courtesy of the City of Mountlake Terrace)

April Pools Day is a free water safety and drowning prevention event scheduled for Saturday, April 6, 5-6 p.m., at the Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion pool, 5303 228th St. S. W. in Mountlake Terrace. Swedish/Edmonds Hospital will team up with the city’s Recreation and Parks Department to provide information with fun, interactive stations on boating, water safety and life jacket use. The goal is to promote water safety and swimming as healthy lifestyle activities. Participants who complete all the water safety stations will receive a free recreation swim pass for the 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. swim at the Mountlake Terrace Pavilion pool. There will be a raffle for a set of swim lessons, a life jacket and other prizes. Participants must complete all the stations and be present at the 6 p.m. drawing to win the raffle prizes. Additionally, evaluations for swimming lesson placement will be available. As part of a Verdant Health Commission grant, any non-swimmer in the Edmonds School District grades K-12 is eligible to receive a set of vouchers for free swimming lessons. For more information, visit www.mltrec.com or contact the Recreation Pavilion at 425-776-9173.

While at the Lynnwood Rec Center, I saw a flyer for a “Bike Bonanza” at Lynnwood Elementary on April 20. Kids ages 1 to 18 can come get free bike helmets fitted from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until the helmets have all been passed out, with no appointment. There will also be a bike rodeo, designed to teach kids how to ride a bicycle safely, at the event, which will be held indoors. For more information on this event and others like it, you can visit MakeSureTheHelmetFits.org.

The Edmonds School District Youth Employment Fair will be held at Edmonds-Woodway High School on Wednesday, April 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. and the district says that over 50 local employers will be in attendance. No registration is required for this event, which is geared toward students ages 15-18 who are looking for part-time and summer jobs in the area. Those in attendance should “come in professional attire, ready to make a good impression” and a resume is recommended. For more information on this event you can contact the district at 425-431-7000.

During spring break next week, the Edmonds Library is offering a Self-Defense Class for Teen Girls. On April 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. upstairs in the Plaza Room, teen girls can learn the basics of self-defense skills that rely on verbal, physical, and emotional strategies instructed by 7th degree black belt Michelle McVadon, chief instructor at Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu. The workshop will cover basic self-defense skills such as using your voice, vulnerable targets on an attacker, grab releases and being aware of your surroundings. Participants will also discover their “physical power by hitting pads.” For more information on this event, visit their Facebook Event page or call the library at 425-771-1933

The Edmonds Wildlife Habitat Native Plant Demonstration Garden this Sunday, March 31 is hosting an event, “Saving Our Orcas Education, Experience and Action.” All are invited to learn about our Puget Sound orca whales and what you can do to protect and preserve them. This event, presented by Whitney Neugebauer, Director of Whale Scout and member of the Orca Salmon Alliance, is for “anyone who loves orcas and is concerned about them — kids, teens, adults, seniors and families.” She will provide information on how and where to participate in Whale Scout “land based observation” this season at Marina Beach Park and other locations. While this program is free, donations are welcome and will go toward the ongoing work of Whale Scout. The Demo Garden at Willow Creek Hatchery is at the northwest corner of Pine Street and Edmonds Way. There is free parking on Pine Street with parking at the Hatchery for those with limited mobility. For more information you can visit PilchuckAudubon.org or call 425-771-8165.

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.

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