The Department of Recreational Sports at Virginia Tech is now offering the new American Red Cross training courses: Guard Start and Babysitter's Training.

Babysitter’s training course

The first babysitter’s training class, scheduled to begin June 16 at 9 a.m. in War Memorial Hall, gives youth ages 11 to 15 the skills and confidence to be great babysitters. Used to train and certify over 120,000 babysitters nationwide, the Red Cross provides young people with the self-esteem, leadership, communication, and decision-making skills necessary to become safe babysitters; as well as giving them a meaningful way to earn money. There is also a second session that begins July 7.

“Our goal is to create a safe and supportive community for families,” said Gabby Marquez, aquatics graduate assistant for recreational sports at Virginia Tech “When parents hire trained babysitters who know how to provide proper child care and handle emergencies, their children are safer and so are our babysitters.”

The course teaches young people not only how to supervise children and infants appropriately, but also how to perform basic child-care skills such as diapering, feeding, and dressing. In addition, participants learn how to identify safety hazards and care for common injuries such as burns, cuts, and bee stings.

Guard Start course

The first Guard Start class, scheduled to begin July 6 at 9 a.m. in McComas Hall, gives youth ages 11 to 14 the confidence and expertise to become skilled future lifeguards. Guard Start teaches everything from lifesaving techniques to fitness and professional development. It will focus on key areas such as swimming skills and prevention of aquatic accidents.

“The goal is to get our youth ready for life saving situations,” said Whitney Evans, coordinator of aquatics and instructional programs for recreational sports at Virginia Tech “Participants learn what it takes to be a great lifeguard and gain skills to help them get ready to take a lifeguard training course.”

Find more information, or to register for the Guard Start or Babysitter’s Training course at Virginia Tech online. Fees for the Babysitter’s Training course are $40. Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to register by June 15 for the first session, and by July 7 for the second session. The Guard Start course is $75 and registration must be completed by July 1.

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