Credit: Kevin Shelton The kNOw Youth Media
Jasmine Vang -The kNOw Youth Media
When temperatures reach up to a hundred degrees in this Central Valley heat, what more do you want to do than swim?
Unfortunately, not everyone in Fresno is privileged enough to have access to their own personal pools but Fresno community pools are hoping to draw big crowds to their facilities this summer.
This summer, Fresno pool facilities all over the city are not only swimming centers, these affordable and convenient pools are a part of something greater that affects Fresno – community centers that offer programs, service, and space for summer activities.
I recently visited a few of the swim centers in Fresno including Romain’s Learner Pool, Airways’ Pool, and Mosqueda’s Pool. Romain is located on 745 N First (First & Belmont) and besides being a pool, it’s a park where people around the neighborhood gather for sports, to socialize or just to cool off and play some pool. The learner pool is free for children under 12 years old.
Bo Khanmhoth, an 18 year old student from Edison High says, “I recommend people to come to Romain, because there are game tables, an indoor gym, newly built courts and a new playground which create a child friendly and adult friendly environment”.
Airways pool is located on 5440 E. Shields (Shields & Clovis Ave) and has a dollar for children and two dollars for adults admission, although when the heat is above a hundred and five degrees, admission is free. During those searing-hot 105 degree days, Airways pool also serves free lunches for children.
Yong Ye, 16 from Sunnyside High says, “ Airways conditions are nice considering it’s an outside pool and it’s friendly.”
Mosqueda Community Center is located on 4630 E. Butler (Maple & Butler). It offers a free library, swimming pool with a dollar admission, and numerous summer programs directed by Reading and Beyond. Growing up in Southeast Fresno I am very familiar with the Mosqueda Pool. It was convenient and the closest pool I had access to. It was a nice place to bond with my friends and spend quality time together.
Because I moved I haven’t been able to take advantage of the facilities or notice the numerous free programs they offer.
Jenny Brietgam, the manager for Reading and Beyond says, “Reading and Beyond moved into the Mosqueda Center as a home base in October 2011, and the idea of this was to create a one-stop resource shop. A place for families to come and use all the resources they can under one roof”.
Besides the pool, the Mosqueda Center offers Senior Hot Meals in the morning, Summer Academy for Children and a preschool. Not only are there programs but there is a Department of Social Services right under the same facility for people within the neighborhood to utilize. The greatest thing about these programs is that they focus on academic growth, helping the community and most programs are low cost, if not free.
These community centers are more than just a place to play and hang out but have become a routine in many Fresnan’s summer lives.
Cynthia Silva, 63, comes to the Mosqueda Community Center very often, about every week. She says, “I love the library and I bring my grandchildren to enjoy the different events that happen. We’ve also come to swim and use the courts. It gives us more things to do in the summer and stay away from the television and video games.” Silva explains, “If the facility closed down I’d be really sad because it’s close to me and the kids here that participate. It brings in a lot of fun and activities.”
Brietigam says, “Although this community would be considered a high crime area, I come to work daily and feel safe because we offer so many programs and there are always people around. I think it has a safe feeling of family.”
So why should you take part in these Community Centers? May Sheng Yang 16 from Roosevelt High says, “There are programs everywhere and I come for resources or just to hangout, it’s also very welcoming and family friendly.”
If you’re looking for a way to beat the heat this summer, these community centers are easy to access and a good way to get out of the house and have some summer fun while also benefiting yourself. For many families, resources can be scarce when school’s out but with these open centers and parks Fresno citizens can utilize the facilities even during the summer.[box_light]
For more information about:
Fresno community centers near you, visit their website
Reading and Beyond at the Mosqueda Community Center, call (559)600-6191 or go to www.readingandbeyond.org[/box_light]