LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced the second season of SwimLA, a program that provides Angelenos between the ages of 4 and 17 with opportunities to learn to swim.

“When kids learn how to swim, they get a chance to do more than stay cool during the summer; they gain access to a life-saving skill that will keep them fit and strong,” Garcetti said. “If we want to build the healthiest city in the world, we have to start with our youngest Angelenos. This summer, we will meet that mission by putting a swimming lesson in reach for more than 40,000 children across Los Angeles.”

The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks enrolled 36,126 children in swim classes last year, double the program’s 2017 enrollment, according to the mayor’s office.

To reach this year's goal, 51 city pools will offer lessons and expanded hours of operation. At 35 pools, the lessons will be free, while the remaining sites will offer subsidized programming.

“There are various forms of inequality, and SwimLA helps kids who live in underserved neighborhoods like the one I represent,”  Councilmember Curren Price said. “All families, regardless of income or ZIP code, are entitled to equal access to recreation and sports programs.”

The mayor’s office cited numbers from the U.S.A. Swimming Foundation, which reported 64 percent of Black and 45 percent of Latino children don’t know how to swim, and 79 percent of children in households with incomes less than $50,000 have little or no access to swimming resources.

Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children younger than 14 years old, according to the foundation.

Online enrollment for SwimLA began Wednesday, June 12. More information can be found at www.swimla.org.

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