LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - With summer approaching, many children are eager to get out of school and jump in the pool, but there are still many who don't know how to swim.
"We know that we stay in Southwest Louisiana, and we feel that every kid should at least have the opportunity to learn how to swim," said Kip Texada, Ward 3 Recreation's executive director.
Unfortunately, many haven't learned how. Texada has spent nine years in his role, and still meets a large number of families who don't know how to swim.
"I took a poll just within a family of ten, and out of the ten, maybe seven of them did not know how to swim, and so that number right there is very staggering," he said.
So how is the recreation center helping to lower those numbers? By offering one-dollar swimming classes this summer.
"It is affordable, competent, available...that anyone can afford, so price need not be a deterrent," said Ward 3 Aquatics Director Rene Fontenot.
Fontenot says they also have received money to certify their instructors.
"We partnered with (the) Red Cross, and its centennial grant in order to get people trained, because it is a costly training program, and it's extensive," she said.
"But it's not just a rewarding experience for children, but also for those involved in the process.
"It makes my heart a little softer knowing that I was at least able to provide a service for that child or that family," said Texada.
"There is nothing better than teaching someone how to fish, so to speak, so they can do this the rest of their life," said Fontenot.
And Fontenot and Texada hope parents will take advantage of this opportunity and bring their children out to learn this life-saving skill.
"Our pools are open with competent staff, great pool managers, where it's in a safe environment, and let them learn and develop and expand their aquatic abilities for safety and fitness," said Fontenot.
Ward 3 will be offering their dollar classes at the University Pool, 2nd Avenue Pool and Foreman Reynaud Pool. They will also offer adult classes and water aerobics classes this summer for a dollar.
To sign up for a class, click HERE.
For questions or concerns you can contact Rene Fontenot at email@example.com