City, local organizations to offer swimming lessons scholarships

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Summer is just around the corner and that means kids will soon be heading to the pools looking for a fun way to cool off.

The City of Memphis said it's been working on a plan to keep its pools safe, including a more proactive approach.

On Tuesday, the city, the Red Cross and Splash Mid-South announced recently acquired grant money will be used to provide swimming lesson scholarships to 325 people.

"Swim lessons will be more affordable and more accessible for young people in Memphis," Mayor Jim Strickland said.

They said they are hoping the scholarships will encourage even more individuals in the Memphis area to learn about water safety and how to swim.

For those on public assistance, the scholarships would drop tuition from $25 to $5 for children.

To qualify, the kid needs to be on government assistance.

According to the University of Memphis, 70 percent of African-American children, 60 percent of Hispanic kids and 40 percent of Caucasian children can't swim.

Not to mention, one in five drowning deaths are children.

The lessons are offered at the following facilities: Bickford, Charles Powell/Westwood,
Douglass, Ed Rice, Gaisman, Hickory Hill, Lester, Raleigh, Riverview and Willow pools.

The session dates are June 6-16, June 20-30, July 5-14 and July 18-28.

The regular rate for a child is $25 for a Memphis resident and $65 for a non-Memphis resident.

Adult rates are $48 for a Memphis resident and $100 for a non-Memphis resident.

Senior rates (55 and older) are $30 for a Memphis resident and $75 for a non-Memphis resident.

Nine city pools will open Memorial Day weekend, with the rest opening June 10.

All city pools will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.