Waukegan Park District
Banner photo of children enjoying some great wet fun at Howard Ganster Pool.



SwimSmart is different than traditional swim lessons. The number one goal of SwimSmart is to increase participant safety and comfort in water and the secondary goal is to teach swimming strokes and techniques. From parent/tot through adult lessons, participants learn ways to be safe in various bodies of water. They first learn how to be safe and save themselves before they perfect swimming strokes and techniques. SwimSmart students progress through classes based on demonstrable skills. Parents will receive a written progress report at the conclusion of each class.


Indoor, School Year SwimSmart Programs (September through May) Indoor lessons are offered on Saturday mornings at the Ann M. Kiley Developmental Center, on 1212 N. Dugdale Circle, Waukegan.


Outdoor, Summer SwimSmart Programs Outdoor lessons are offered on Saturday mornings and during the week at the Howard E. Ganster Pool, 416 S. Lewis Avenue, Waukegan.


Sibling discounts available for SwimSmart programs Families with more than one child, living in the same household will receive a discount for each additional child who is taking a SwimSmart lesson in the same session. To receive a discount, registration must take place in person at a registration location.

Click here for current brochure and go to Aquatics page for the SwimSmart class schedule.

Swim Lessons

For Your Benefit

- Register Online or at the Belvidere Recreation Center, Jack Benny Center, and The Field House Sports and Fitness Center. It’s convenient and easy!

- Our Instructors are well trained and friendly.

- Low student/instructor ratios mean more individualized instruction.

- A Swim Lesson Coordinator monitors lessons to ensure quality programming and address questions and concerns.
Skill level and age are considered for proper placement of swimmers.
MAKE-UPS: In the event of pool closing or cancellation, the make-up session will take place one week after the last scheduled date of class.


Helpful Hints for Your First Class

- Please arrive five to ten minutes before your class starts to allow time for getting changed.

- Babies are required to wear swim diapers, cloth and disposable diapers are not prohibited, as they become heavy and fall apart in the water.

- For the health of your child and others if your child is unwell it is recommended that you stay at home and miss the lesson.

- Children under 3 years must be accompanied in the water by an adult before, after, and during their lesson.

-You are welcome to talk to the Swim Coordinator or Supervisor at anytime about your child’s progress.
 Helping you to prepare for a lifetime of safe water fun.

Which is the right class for my child?

Sharks & Minnows - Parents with Child 6 mos-3 years
Help your child adjust to water, which is a key factor in becoming a confident swimmer. In addition to the instructor, parents accompany their children in the water to assist in their child’s learning experience. Both the parent and child will learn water safety techniques to become comfortable in the water. The class incorporates songs and games to aid the learning process. Grandparents are welcome too!

Jellyfish - Level I       Ages 3-5
This class is a beginner swimming class to help students feel comfortable in the water and to enjoy the water safely. In this level, elementary swimming skills are introduced such as kicking, arm strokes, blowing bubbles, unsupported floats, and gaining confidence in underwater activities, while maintaining a fun and safe environment. The students are encouraged and taught to overcome fear or uneasiness they may have in the water through the teaching of these elementary skills and the incorporation of new games to create a fun learning experience.


This class is the right class if your child can: put face in water, bob in the water, jump to teacher, kick on wall, assisted front and back float.

Starfish - Level II  Ages 3-5
This class is for children who have either completed Preschool I class or have some swimming ability. To be this level, swimmers should be comfortable with floating, beginner stroke for five yards without help, and feel comfortable in deep water. The focus in this class is building up your child's endurance and safety knowledge of the water environment. Skills to be covered are introduction to rhythmic breathing, front crawl stoke and back crawl.


This is the right class if your child can: Blow bubbles/face in the water, kick with board, front crawl 5 yards, jump in deep water, safety float.

Turtles - Level I      Ages 6-16
If your child has little or no swimming skills, this class will help them adjust to the aquatic environment. This class focuses on water adjustment and covers these basic skills: breath control, submerging, floating, kicking, front and back gliding, beginner stroke, introduction to freestyle stroke and safety topics to make your child more aware of the aquatic environment.


This class is the right class if your child can: front and back float unaided, flutter kick ten yards, bob in the water, front and back glide, move comfortably in water.

Goldfish - Level II      Ages 6-16
This class is for children who have completed Youth Swim Lessons Level I or have some swimming ability such as, being comfortable in deep water and able to swim freestyle stroke for 15 yards without help. This class focuses on increasing swimming endurance and distance to build more confidence in deep water. Skills to be covered are perfecting rhythmic breathing, freestyle stroke, introduction to backstroke, treading water, staying safe, and how to recognize water emergencies.


This class is the right class if your child can: put whole self in water, front & back safety floats unaided, beginner stroke 15 yards, introduction to treading water, retrieve object from 5 feet.

Sea Horses - Level III      Ages 6-16
This class is for children who have either completed Youth Swim Lessons. Level II or have good freestyle and backstroke skills. This class will concentrate on endurance swimming and learning new strokes. Skills to be covered include breaststroke, diving, backstroke and safety techniques.


This is the right class if your child can: retrieve object from 5 feet, glide front and back with kick board, front crawl with rhythmic breathing for 15 yards, and tread water for 2 minutes.

Dolphins - Level IV      Ages 6-16
If your child has completed Youth Level III or can demonstrate food breaststroke skills, they are now ready for Youth Level IV. This class focuses on perfecting and refining the breaststroke and introducing competitive swimming. New skills to be covered include competitive starts and turns, introduction to butterfly and introduction to lifeguarding skills and other safety topics.


This is the right class if your child can: dive into water, deep water bobbing, front crawl with rhythmic breathing for 15 yard, elementary backstroke 15 yards, front and back crawl for 25 yards and tread water for 3 minutes.



  produced by
Visionary Webworks
~ eParkDistrict.com