GCSC Hosts 24th Annual Holiday Swim

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Splish, splash, Springfield Elementary students were having a blast! Friday morning, Gulf Coast State College hosted their annual "Holiday Swim" for children with disabilities. 
    
Students were swimming, playing and partying on the Gulf Coast campus. Springfield students, Kindergarten thru 5th grade, all excited to swim and hang out with their pals. 
  
For 24 years, Gulf Coast State College has hosted their "Holiday Swim" and it's an event that's highly anticipated every year. 
  
"The teachers told me in the beginning of the year they were already asking, are we going, are we going, are we going? They have a blast," said GCSC Counselor, Leigh Bailey. 

"This is something they really look forward to. They don't have these experiences all the time so to be able to come out and just hang with their friends, as you can tell from the excitement on their faces, they're excited to be here," Springfield Elementary ESE Teacher, Kelli Ferns. 

Springfield students aren't the only ones who get to have a good time. Volunteers from the nursing program, baseball and softball teams, also splashing around and playing games. 
  
"Oh this is awesome, it's a cool experience. If anyone has never done it, they need to do it this is awesome," said, Volunteer, Clay. 

Some students look forward to the main event..."The most fun part is, I get to swim," said Springfield Student, Avari. 
While others are just excited about it all..."You get to go swimming and have fun and play the games in the gym and eat pizza all day," said Springfield Student, Jerome. 

Holiday Swim is a chance for students to feel "weightless" and do things their normally not able to do. Organizers say Holiday Swim is an exciting and memorable experience for all who are involved.
    
The students who got to go to holiday swim earned their spots through good grades and behavior. Over 50 students were in attendance Friday morning. 
 


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