A recent tragedy in Louisiana in which six black teenagers drowned in Shreveport’s Red River as many other members of the community looked on helplessly (I warn you, this is a terribly disturbing story) hammers home the importance of programs like this one:

This summer, the Dallas YMCA will teach more than 4,000 kids to swim at no cost, according to their most recent newsletter. The Y recently expanded its Urban Swim initiative into the Vickery Meadow community, which contains Dallas’ highest concentration of apartments and a large population of immigrant families. They expect to teach 200 apartment-dwelling children to swim, and provide water safety tips to the parents.

It’s reported in a recent Associated Press article that a majority of minority-race children have low or no swimming ability, and African-American children drown at a rate almost three times higher than white children, according to the USA Swimming Foundation.

The local Y also offers low-cost swim lessons for children, teens and adults.

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