SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA)–Thousands of dollars have been set aside to make sure Shreveport kids learn how to swim.
"We want everyone to have an equal opportunity to be able to have those lessons and have that skill," says Catherine Kennedy of SPAR, one of the many organizations whose kids will benefit from Project Swim.
"In addition to what we're already doing, the publicity that all this is getting, through the help of the Community Foundation, we'll help more people realize all the opportunities that are currently being offered for them."
Thanks to Project Swim, groups that provide lessons can get the money to offer them for free through the Community Foundation.
"I think it's the beginning of something very special," says Terrence Jefferson, the General Manager of the city pools that are run in collaboration with Rock Solid. He says the lessons through Project Swim won't start until the spring unless another resource opens up.
"If we could see something happen with an indoor facility, we would really see some immediate impact," Jefferson says.
In the meantime, getting the word out is top priority for people close to the project.
"…Making sure all the kids in my church know how to swim, and those who can't, we wanna make sure we get them signed up," chides Rev. Terrance Trammel. He pastors the Stewart-Blalock family. Rev. Trammel tells KSLA News 12 that it is imperative that pastors and other religious leaders get involved.
"We have access to the people. One place you can get in touch with people, or you can see a large number of people is in church."
Though actual lessons won't start through Stewart-Warner Project Swim until springtime, we're told there will be swimming education done in Caddo Parish classrooms before then.
Here's a link to a list of swim lesson resources.
©2010 KSLA-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.