CINCINNATI -- Nearly half of Americans lack basic swimming skills, according to a 2014 survey conducted on behalf of the American Red Cross.
The Cincinnati Recreation Commission hopes to fight that statistic by getting children in the water as early as kindergarten.
"Their confidence in the water is the biggest goal," aquatic director April Chappell said. "Most of our kids were very terrified to the water when they came to us on the first day — now they seem to love it."
The program lets the kids make a splash while learning the core "water competencies" many Americans lack, including treading water and floating, safely entering deep water and regulating breath.
"Swimming isn't only a sport, but a skill that can save a child's life," said Daniel Betts of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission.