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Jul 10, 2012 7:53 PM by Alyse Rzemek

A increase number of minorities don't know how to swim

There are an increased number of drowning cases among minorities and experts say it's due to a lack of swimming education. The USA Swimming Foundation says 70 percent of African American and 60 percent of Hispanic children do not know how to swim.
When it comes to drowning, the CDC found that black children drown at a rate 3 times higher than their white peers.
James Morton with the YMCA said a number of factors contribute to the daunting statistics, but mainly access is the issue. "Access to affordable swim lessons that are conveniently located in communities, is the real challenge, " Morton said.
He says it's the lack of public pools in inner city areas, that's now creating a generation of minority children with little to no water safety education.
Mother, Stacy Thomas says she grew up just never going to the pool, but now she's working to change course with her own child. "She's learning to put her head under the water, to hold her breathe," Thomas said.
As for Morton, he's now making it his personal mission to open more pools in areas where minority kids are at a disadvantage. "So were in the process of negotiating with a number of organizations in our community that have access to pools that we could hold lessons in, Morton said."
These parents and children are taking full advantage of the facility and the opportunity to learn proper water safety.

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