LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Summer is here, and kids are ready to drop their books and hit the pool, but some children across Southwest Louisiana don't know how to swim.
Ward 3 Recreation is looking to change that by offering affordable classes.
For one dollar, that's all it takes to learn how to swim in Lake Charles. Thanks to a special grant Ward 3 Recreation has been able to offer this service for a few years now, and supply more than 20 certified instructors to those willing to learn.
With temperatures in the 90's, Thursday kids across Lake Charles decided to hit the pool.
But if you look near the deep end you'll see 9-year-old Adonis Cannon, and it's hard to believe there was a time he didn't know how to swim.
"As soon as I got in the pool I knew straight away they were going to teach me a lot of stuff," he said.
He did learn a lot of stuff, along with his 10-year-old sister Alana who was hesitant in the beginning.
"I couldn't touch the ground, and I was scared so after I started learning how they took me to the deep end and that's when I was really scared," she said.
Both Alana and Adonis learned how to swim, and it only cost them a dollar a class.
"Our executive director and the board of Ward 3 decided that they wanted to put classes where they're affordable so nobody would be left out," said Rene Fontenot.
Fontenot is the aquatics director and says because of drowning rates in Lake Charles they were able to receive the centennial grant from the American Red Cross allowing them to train more swim instructors.
"It's not just someone who's a lifeguard, this is someone who's certified as an instructor so they can create swimmers," she said.
Along with youth and water aerobic classes, Ward three also offers adult classes for a dollar as well.
While Fontenot is hoping they'll be able to offer swim classes year round in the future, 9-year-old Adonis is grateful for the opportunities swimming has given him.
"My favorite thing about swimming is all the amazing people that come out, and you can have friends and you can have people to swim with," he said.
Ward 3 will offer classes at the University Pool, 2nd Avenue Pool, and Foreman Reynaud Pool.
University Pool will offer water aerobic classes Monday through Thursday from 7:15 a.m to 8:15 a.m.
Swim classes for kids ages five and up will be held Monday through Friday at nine, ten and 11 a.m. for 45 minutes each.
2nd Avenue Pool will offer swim lessons Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
Swim classes for kids ages five and up will be held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at nine, ten and 11 a.m. for 45 minutes each, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
Water aerobics will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Foreman Reynaud Pool will have open swim Monday through Fridays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
For questions or concerns you can contact Rene Fontenot at email@example.com