Jean Coile Scholarship Helping a New Generation Swim

2 Jul

Paige Peterson is a single mother of 2 year-old twins. A self-described “water and outdoors person,” Paige says: “So many water accidents happen with kids… it’s very important to me that my daughters learn how to swim at a young age. My granny is 73, and doesn’t know how to swim – I didn’t want them to experience that toll in life.”

Paige Peterson with her daughters

Paige Peterson with her daughters

With that in mind, Paige came to the YWCA in September, where she learned that she was eligible for a Jean Coile scholarship to help subsidize her children’s swim lessons. Jean Coile was the YW’s Aquatics Director from 1979 until 2010; the fund was created upon her retirement to honor her work.

“It means a lot to have a scholarship that I can use when times are tight,” says Paige. “Otherwise we would have to miss out on a month of classes, and the girls would lose some of that momentum.”

As it is, the twins have graduated from the Baby 1 & 2 class to the preschool class. They can do ‘chipmunk cheeks,’ hold their breath, jump in the pool, and are starting to learn windmills.

“I’ve seen tremendous progress from when they first started,” says Paige. “My mom comes with me, and it’s a time for them to bond. The girls love swim class, and it’s good for them.”

The Jean Coile Scholarship is needs-based, and is available on a limited basis to subsidize instructional swimming lessons for adults and children.  For more information contact Kitty Schmidt, Aquatics Coordinator, at 828-254-7206 x. 110.

For more information about the YWCA’s swim lessons, visit

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