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  • Writer's pictureShawna Bonnett

A Treasure in the Pool! Tracy Herbst with Arcadia Swim for Kids.

It’s summertime and one resource that Arcadia has is a literal life saver. Let me introduce you to my friend Tracy Herbst. She is a certified instructor with Infant Swim Resource (ISR).

Summertime often means more time spent around pools, lakes, and other bodies of water. Unfortunately, water-related accidents, including drownings and near-drownings, are more common during this season. ISR helps teach infants and young children essential survival swimming skills, which can significantly reduce the risk of such accidents.

Water has a natural allure, and the sound, sight, and feel of water can be soothing and calming. Children have a natural curiosity about their surroundings, and water presents an intriguing element for exploration. Water offers opportunities for playfulness and fun. Children often associate water with games, swimming, splashing, and other enjoyable activities.

ISR focuses on teaching children a series of self-rescue techniques, known as ISR Self-Rescue® skills. These skills are designed to help children survive in the water if they accidentally fall in. The specific skills taught may include floating on the back, rolling to a face-up position to breathe, swimming short distances, and reaching the edge of the pool or a safe area. ISR programs are usually available for infants as young as 6 months old up to children around 6 years old. The specific age range may vary depending on the instructor and the program.

Presley and Tracy 2011

My personal experience with “Miss Tracy” required daily pool time, about 10 minutes a day, until my daughters were able to float. In our case it was between 2 and 3 weeks. Although lessons and strategies are different from child to child, the basic plan was that if the child was not walking yet, then the child would only be taught to roll over, float, and breathe. However, for children who were able to walk, they would be taught to roll and float AS WELL AS to swim to the side of the pool or steps. We enrolled our children in refresher classes for a few summers following the first year as well.

ISR is not to teach your child how to perfect a swim stroke. ISR focuses on teaching children how to stay safe in the water by learning vital skills such as floating, swimming to safety, and rolling to breathe. These skills can provide an extra layer of protection and increase the child's chances of survival if they accidentally fall into the water.

We are lucky to have Miss Tracy right in our neighborhood. I have a handful of neighborhood friends still today that I met during our adjacent daily lessons. We bonded over watching our babies learn how to float. To be quite honest, it’s NOT an easy thing to do. There is an emotional commitment. However, understanding that Tracy is a professional and knowing the success stories that have been told by so many other parents whose children have all graduated from the program was necessary for me to see the process through. More than one parent has cried tears of JOY right on the side of Tracy’s pool because they see with their own eyes that their baby learned to SURVIVE, float and breathe, without assistance, when in water. Tracy Herbst is the person who has been safely teaching children in our community for 18 years..

Macy 2008

ISR is a true gift. Tracy Herbst is a true professional and a gift to our family as well as our community.

If you have young children, or young grandchildren, make the commitment to enroll in the program and go to “Miss Tracy”. You won’t regret it.

Call or Text Tracy at 602.952.8696. Email:

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