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YMCA NewRoots120The Tompkins County YMCA teamed up with New Roots Charter School to offer week-long intensive courses that can result in American Red Cross certifications.  In late May six students received their American Red Cross Lifeguard certification course after spending a week in the pool with YMCA employee and American Red Cross instructor Ryan Allen learning lifesaving techniques and rescues as well as CPR and First Aid.

"These skills have helped me get a jump on my future. Now I have more opportunities to get a job at a pool this summer, maybe even at the YMCA!" says Ella Bard, a senior at New Roots who took the course.  "I now feel more accomplished and prepared for emergencies when and if they happen," says Shannon Raymond, a junior at New Roots.

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Fran Speight, the physical education and health teacher at New Roots Charter School, is thrilled to have this partnership with the YMCA.  "The students are developing connections with the community, developing job readiness skills, and learning emergency preparedness all during the school day.  Already we have two New Roots students working at the YMCA teaching swim lessons after school. We were able to do these classes in no small part because the YMCA offered reduced prices to our students as part of their mission to ensure that no one is turned away due to finances. Ryan has developed a great rapport with our students and we really appreciate the opportunities that the YMCA has given us!"

Last fall, ten New Roots students earned their Wilderness First Aid/CPR/AED certifications through a challenging course taught by Allen and held at the YMCA's Outdoor Education Center.

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