Obama student volunteers booster Summer Dreamers crew

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Daijha McClain, The Eagle Staff Writer

Every summer, the Pittsburgh Public Schools host the Summer Dreamers Academy for elementary aged children. This year, a number of Obama students and swimming coach Mr. Rauterkus were involved in the program. I spoke with Mr. Rauterkus about their experience.
DAIJHA – What was your role?
MR. RAUTERKUS – I was the executive head coach. I set staffing assignments, approve lesson plans, get equipment, and do all the administrative work.
DAIJHA – What type of experience do you think they had?
MR. RAUTERKUS – The students can speak of themselves, but it was a worthy challenge; a lot of fun.
DAIJHA – Any noteworthy experiences you are aware of?
MR. RAUTERKUS – Helping the younger kids is rewarding and it gives a level of compassion for teaching, learning, risk taking, and creative expression. The students come to respect their older peers. They put their faith and even their lives on the line as swimming across the deep end of the pool is often a scary challenge. Lifeguards are called “life – guards” for a reason.
DAIJHA – How can current students get involved in Summer Dreamers?
MR. RAUTERKUS – We need to have a year-round swim experience for our student at Obama and for the larger community. Those at other schools need to come to our school and see our kids in action! They need to get in and learn. Plus, this can build capacity so we are better able to expand in the summers and grow to 10 sites, rather than five. To be on the staff next year, it would be best to be on the swim team this winter.
Pittsburgh is a community where we learn, practice, and compete as a whole.