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A parent's guide to JC pools

by Molly Bryan | April 14, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Get a jump on summer fun at Ellis-Porter Riverside Pool. Located on Jefferson City’s historic east end, this pool has a little something for everyone.

Jefferson City is the home to the Ellis-Porter Riverside Pool and the Memorial Park Family Aquatic Center, where there is an opportunity for fun, learning, socializing and working.

Dive into the opportunities that await you at the JC Parks’ pools.

Swim lessons:

Learning to swim can open up a world of opportunity for your child as they gain a lifelong skill that could potentially save their life and others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more children ages 1-4 die from drowning than any other cause and is the second leading cause of death for kids ages 5-14. The top drowning prevention measure from the CDC is swimming lessons to teach water safety skills and the basics of swimming. Statistics back that swim lessons are extremely important for children to gain the necessary skills to become independent around the water. Swim lessons for children 1-4 reduce the risk of drowning by 88%, according to Water Safety USA, a non-profit that leads the U.S. in water safety and drowning prevention.

While safety is always in mind for parents, swim lessons also provide opportunities for fitness and exercise, as well as social opportunities to make friends and participate in swim activities throughout their youth. The physical benefits of swimming are abundant, as swimming helps improve strength, flexibility, coordination and endurance.

Most parents also appreciate the fact that swimming is a full-body workout that requires a lot of energy, so high-energy exertion can result in improved sleep. Swim lessons are a great way to increase your child’s confidence, as they can see and feel themselves advancing in swim as they learn and gain experience with each lesson. Swimming provides challenges and opportunities for kids to overcome their fears in a controlled environment.

JC Parks offers an encouraging and positive environment for your child to learn with a variety of group lessons based on age and skill level, as well as private lessons for one-on-one instruction.  

Parent and child classes are offered for children ages 6 months to 2 years old. Parents can join their children in the pool as their comfort level in and around the water improves.

There are preschool lessons for children ages 3-4 that are geared to teach greater independence in their skills.

Finally, there are ‘Learn-to-Swim’ lessons for children 5 years and older. Lessons are broken down by skill level to ensure your child is getting the attention they need for the level of comfort they have at the pools.

About the pools:

Memorial Park Family Aquatic Center (MPFAC)

(573) 634-6588; 120 Binder Drive

MPFAC’s season will start on May 27 and end on Aug. 13.

Get a jump on summer fun at the Memorial Park Family Aquatic Center. Located on Jefferson City’s west end, this pool has a little something for everyone.

  • Open flume slides (2)
  • Drop-down slides (2)
  • Lily pad walk
  • Climbing wall
  • Zero depth entry
  • Birth – 7-year aquatic play structure
  • Hippo slide
  • Lap lanes
  • Covered seating
  • ADA-compliant pool lift

Ellis Porter Riverside Pool

(573) 634-6585, 320 Ellis-Porter Drive

Ellis-Porter Riverside Pool will open on May 27 and close on Sept. 4. 

Located on Jefferson City’s historic east end, this pool has something each person will enjoy.

  • Kiddie area with fountains and slides
  • Zero depth entry
  • Climbing wall
  • Diving board
  • Drop down slide
  • Alligator and lobster stationary floatables
  • ADA-compliant pool lift
  • Covered seating
  • Concession stand

Both JC Parks’ pools offer Little Splashers playtime, which is a reserved time for children 6 and under with an adult at least 16 or older. This is a great way for toddlers to be in the water without the intimidation of a populated pool. The toddler area and zero-depth entry are the only areas where children are allowed to swim during these reserved hours: Monday through Friday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. If you have any questions, please call the pools before you go or check the calendars online.



Becoming a lifeguard is a fun part-time summer job that can develop lifelong skills and friendships. Lifeguarding is a popular job role due to its flexibility and fun in the sun, but above all, it is an important task. As a lifeguard, you’re responsible for the safety of the pool and swimmers, as well as enforcing pool rules and water safety. Lifeguarding is also a self-development opportunity for teenagers and young adults as they develop a sense of responsibility, confidence, and leadership, as well as build interpersonal relationships.

“Lifeguarding versus another job is so much fun because you get to be outside all day and you learn lifesaving skills that you can carry with you your entire life,” said pool manager Julie Haupt. “What makes a JC Parks lifeguard the best is that we have a big staff and you meet and make so many new lifelong friends over the summer. We have a lot of inside perks to the job as well.”

JC Parks aquatic staff is trained with the StarGuard Lifeguard Training Program, which provides the necessary license to work at the JC Parks aquatic facilities. In this training, participants will learn to anticipate, recognize and manage accidents in a professional manner. Training includes first aid, CPR and AED administration.

These transferable skills are important to other jobs as well as everyday life. “To be a lifeguard all you have to do is apply for the job online and once hired, we provide all of your training at our facilities,” Haupt said. “The training is a day in the classroom and a half day of learning in the water. Our certifications are through StarGuard Elite and are good for one year.”

Candidates 15 and older may apply.


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