Instructors For A Cause: AVON 39

Sonia Djafri has been an instructor for Jump Start Swimming for over two years. Sonia participated in the AVON 39 Walk To End Breast Cancer on September 12-13, 2015. This was the 13th annual Avon walk to be help in Santa Barbara. Sonia walked a total of 39.3 miles and raised $1750. These donation went to the Avon Foundation . By the end of the second day in Santa Barbara, the participants had raised more than $5.3 million to accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer. 

Sonia completed this walk in honor of her grandmother, Grandma Kathy. She fought and beat breast cancer once, but unfortunately passed away from the recurrence of breast cancer. She also walked because every three minutes, another woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the US; by the time you finish reading this, there will be a new diagnosis. Cancer is a terrible disease that affects us all.

Sonia's dream is to become a pediatric oncologist and she has already started interning at the oncology floor at HOAG hospital!! Because she is still a few years away from making her dream come true, Sonia decided to participate in the AVON 39 walk to help contribute to the fight against cancer.

Jump Start Swimming is very proud of our instructors and are amazed everyday at their strength. Jump Start Swimming is happy to support her as she strives to reach her goals. Jump Start Swimming donated $500 and our support to Sonia and the fight against breast cancer. 

Sonia's goal was to raise $1800. She is very close to this goal but has not quite reached it. If you would like to donate please use the link below. There is not pressure to donate.


Jump Start Swimming loves supporting our instructors and we are very proud of Sonia for all she has done. 

Sonia Djafri

"Walking 39.3 miles was no easy task, but it pales in comparison to chemo and radiation. I am so elated & proud to have been part of a group of 2,300 amazing people who raised 5.3 million dollars for the fight against breast cancer! ‪#Powerof39‬ ONLY $86 away from my goal!!"

Swimming Books To Help Your Child Lean!

Swimming Books To Help Your Child Lean!

Who doesn't love story time? You get to spend quality time with your kids while they get to stretch their imagination — it’s a win-win. Books can be used to teach children skills such as, potty training, social skills, and manners. They can also be used to get children ready for the birth of a new sibling and starting kindergarten. So many things can be taught using literature and swimming is one of them. 

Summer is around the corner and its time to start swimming. Just in case you have a youngster who is a little timid when it comes to splashing around and getting their face wet, here are a few books recommended by Jump Start Swimming that feature lovable characters who all work at overcoming their fear of swimming: 

‘Ruby Learns to Swim’ written by Phillip Gwynne and illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie

I was so excited about receiving this one in the mail: Gwynne text and Ainslie illustrations = perfect picture book. We follow main character Ruby as she has her swimming lesson and learns about bubbles, straight legs and kicking hard. PudStar’s favourite part of this book was the lovely assortment of swimsuits and swimming caps that Ruby is featured in…the patterns and colours are just gorgeous and it would be great fun to make more swimsuit and cap combinations for Ruby as a follow up activity. This is a learn to swim book for the very young and it’s just delightful.

‘The Deep’ written by Tim Winton and illustrated by Karen Louise

Well it’s Tim Winton, need I say more? Alice lives near the beach and she loves the sand and playing in the dunes. She’s not scared of many things at all, but she is afraid of the deep. We follow Alice as she enjoys the beach, but not the water until one day when she’s tempted in by some new friends.


‘The Deep End’ written by Ursula Dubosarsky and illustrated by Mitch Vane

I’ve spoken before about how much I enjoy the Aussie Nibble books, and this one is particularly great. At swimming lessons, Becky all set to move up from the Frog group, to the Platypus group. She loves swimming lessons, but being a Platypus means facing…the deep end. An amusing tale about facing some swimming fears!



‘Clem Always Could’ by Sarah Watt

Clem was good at lots of things. He was always good at just so many things; well that is how he remembers it. So when he has to learn to swim…he has a bit of a confidence crisis when he find something he cannot do!


‘Granny Grommet and Me’. Written by Dianne Wolfer and Illustrated by Karen Blair.

This book has a surfing granny so for starters it’s a winner! My granny and her friends go to the beach, and I go too. When they hit the surf, they duck and dive and twist and turn. It looks like lots of fun. But I don t want to go in the water. There are strange things under the waves. There is also some great tips at the end about visiting the beach. Perfect summer holiday read!

‘The Deep End’ by Rebecca Patterson

A funny look at swimming lessons, and the dreaded deep end of the pool! The main character decides that although swimming lessons are brilliant, the best part is the hot shower at the end! For early childhood and lower primary.

‘Sergio' by Edel Rodriguez

Sergio is a penguin. He loves fish, soccer, and water. He loves drinking water, bathing in water, spraying water, just about anything with water! But he has one big problem; he can’t swim.


‘Froggy Learns To Swim' by Jonathan London, Illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz

Frogs are supposed to be great swimmers. “Not me!” says Froggy, who’s afraid of the water. But with a little encouragement, some practice, and the help of a silly song or two, Froggy becomes an expert frog-kicker! Full color.

‘Swim, Little Wombat, SWIM!' by Charles Fuge

Fans of Charles Fuge’s Little Wombat will rejoice at the adorable creature’s return–and at the introduction of an appealing new friend for his hero. And what an unusual animal Platypus is: he waddles when he walks, has a funny fuzzy face, and most special of all, can swim just like a fish. Little Wombat would love to do that too. But are wombats meant for the water…or is he better off staying on dry land?