Swimming and More with the Swarms

The JCC has been in the Swarm family’s orbit for a long time — not only do they live nearby, but when mom Christine worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana, the JCC was a community partner, so when daughters Madeline and Maeve were born, Christine and dad Grant knew they wanted to be part of the J’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program. And once they started, they never left, continuing to add JCC extracurriculars as the girls got older.

“Everything can be here — swim lessons, ballet, tennis. It’s nice that it’s all here,” Christine said. “It’s extremely convenient, especially when their teachers will walk them down the hall and we can pop on over on our way home from work.”

Left: Madeline writing her name in ECE
Right: Maeve before a JCC dance class

Now that the girls are aging out of ECE, Grant and Christine appreciate that there are still JCC childcare programs Madeline and Maeve can be part of in Afterschool Care (ASC) during the school year and CampJCC in summer. “These kiddos they’ve known since they were itty bitty, they get to continue to maintain those relationships after they go to elementary school,” Christine said. And because they go to a Washington Township public school, the bus drops them off at the J for ASC, “which is a huge added value,” Grant said.

Swim Prep for Summer

Maeve and Madeline in a JCC swim lesson

Though swim lessons are provided to older ECE students and CampJCC campers in grades K–3, Grant and Christine chose to supplement those sessions with additional semi-private weekly lessons at the J for the girls as well. “They’re around a lot of water in their lives, from family’s pools to lake houses, so it’s really important for us that they are really safe in the water. Once they can pass the swim test at camp, then they’re able to be done with swim lessons, is kind of the rule that we’ve established,” Christine said. “It takes a lot of repetition, so to be able to keep them going throughout the winter was really important.”

Indy Non-Profit Partners

Christine now works for the 500 Festival and has enjoyed being able to bring a 500 Festival princess to visit the ECE program and provide other in-kind donations to JCC staff. “To be able to give back through my work to the teachers who love on and care for our kids was a no-brainer and something that was very special to be able to do,” she said. “Everyone takes really good care of both of our girls, everybody knows them, they have fun. It really is a community; that just feels really good.”

Madeline’s ECE class with a 500 Festival Princess