TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Swim instructors with the University of Alabama, the Tuscaloosa County Parks and Recreation Authority, and others are working with kids who attend the Benjamin Barnes YMCA by using the Swim To the Top program.
Four days a week, they're teaching 125 kids how to feel safe in the water and become better swimmers.
Many of these children have little to no experience swimming.
The instructors cite research that shows blacks and Hispanics are more likely than other groups to have more unintentional drownings than whites due to lack of experience.
They want these kids to become more comfortable in the water.
"From there it's treading water, floating. Can you get from 5 yards out, back safely to the side of the pool and out of the pool," Daniela Susnara, a graduate student working for the Swim to the Top program said.
The state of Alabama ranks in the top five when it comes to unintentional drownings. The Swim To the Top program will wrap up at the end of June.