Anita Pope, Owner ISR Master Instructor
It is a vision of mine and all ISR instructors to see that "Not One More Child Drowns." Since 2004 my job has not only been to teach your child ISR Self-Rescue and swimming skills but to create in our community an awareness of water safety. I am personally and professionally committed through public education to be a voice for vigilance around all aquatic environments.
I have enjoyed a love for the outdoors and athletics since my childhood. Upon graduating from college with a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology, I married my husband, Dave. Shortly thereafter, we moved to Sarasota. I worked at the Sarasota County Head Start program as the Social Service Coordinator. I have three children, Parker, Paxton and Ingrid who are ISR skilled swimmers. The experience I had with ISR was so profound that in 2004 I became a Certified ISR Instructor and began teaching these life saving skills.
It takes time and dedication for a child to become an aquatic problem solver and my aspiration is that you have an opportunity to share my children's experience. ISR Instructors undergo intense training prior to becoming certified and are recertified yearly. We have continuous academic training which includes areas such as child psychology, physiological behaviorism and development, early childhood education, anatomy and physics. I maintain certification in First Aid and CPR infant/adult (AED) by the American Heart Association. I have been professionally honored to be named one of ISR's National Instructor of the year for 2011. Additionally, I have joined an elite group of professional peers by becoming a ISR Master Instructor .
CLICK HERE for Anita Pope's teaching schedule
Jamie Gephart ISR Instructor
While originally from Illinois, I grew up in Lakewood Ranch and have lived in Florida for the past 30 years. I attended college locally at the University of South Florida where I studied Criminal Law. After graduating, I worked in financial management for twelve years.
Having twins, I quickly realized how challenging it is to keep an eye on one, let alone two children at all times! Even the most cautious parent can loose sight of their child for a moment... and unfortunately that is all it takes. A friend of mine lost her son in a tragic drowning accident and her story truly opened up my eyes. Everyone thinks "It wont happen to me because I keep an eye on my children" but small children move quickly, and can fall into the water in the seconds it takes to answer a cell phone, grab a towel or address a sibling. In Florida, there are beaches, pools and ponds everywhere, so I knew I had to do something more to protect my children from the potential danger of drowning. After doing TONS of research, I decided that ISR offered the safest and most effective program for teaching drowning prevention through survival swimming and I immediately enrolled my twins for lessons. I was inspired and amazed at the skills they were able to learn at such a young age and that was when I knew this was my calling!
As a parent, I understand that you would do anything to protect your child from danger. The reality is, there will be times when your child is in the care of another or momentarily slips out of your sight. The only true way to protect them from the dangers of drowning is to equip them with the life saving skills of self rescue.
CLICK HERE for Jamie Gephart's teaching schedule
Melissa Osborne ISR Instructor
I grew up on Portage Lakes in Akron Ohio and moved to the Orlando Florida area in 2006 with my husband. My husband and I are high school sweethearts and have been married for over 9 years. We love living close to the beach and try and spend most weekends there. We have two amazing daughters Jaylen and Madalyn. Not long after moving here I learned about this amazing ISR program while working for the Central Florida YMCA. I was so inspired and knew I had to be a part of this program. After watching and learning more about the ISR program I soon after became an certified ISR instructor for the Safe Start program at the Central Florida YMCA. I went through the intense training program, which focused on behavioral psychology and aquatic safety and how it relates to infants and young children.
I know firsthand how quickly an accident can happen and how important these self-rescue® skills really are. My youngest daughter Madalyn when we first moved into our house in Bradenton fell into our pool at home. She was chasing after our dog to let him outside. As I yelled out following her "Don't run!" she got to close to the edge and fell in. Before I could even get close to her she had swam back to grab ahold of the side of the pool and pulled herself out of the water. She was so calm and confident and did not hesitate even once with her skills. Her confidence and skills in the water is all thanks to this program. I teach every day to continue with our goal and mission that “Not One More Child Drowns.”
CLICK HERE for Melissa Osborne's teaching schedule
Tina Weger,OTR/L Aquatic Therapist
Combining my experience as a pediatric occupational therapist and an aquatic therapist, I strive to help children with disabilities improve their motor skills and develop a fun, recreational activity. I am also a certified swim instructor as well as adapted aquatics certified. I am passionate about creating a safe and positive relationship for children with disabilities and water. Swimming, boating, and going to the beach is an everyday, recreational activities for children living in our area. A child with a disability should not miss out on these social opportunities because of fear of the water or safety concerns.
I love any activities that involve the water - swimming, diving, snorkeling are just a few examples. I feel at home in the pool and love being in the water with my clients. It is extremely rewarding to help a child learn new skills and build self confidence while having fun.