SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA)- More than 1,000 kids in Shreveport will get free swimming lessons this summer. It's a part of the Stewart-Warner Project Swim Fund established in honor of the six teens who drowned in the Red River last August.
Brenda Gilley's son is one of the kids who will benefit from the free swim lessons.
"As a parent, that's what I want for him is to improve his swimming skills, and keep him from getting himself in trouble if he's out playing with his friends swimming," she says.
He'll get his lessons through Rock Solid-the same organization that runs the City of Shreveport's pools.
"We currently have 1,100 people signed up for the program. We're well aware of the fact that some people might sign up and not show up," says Rock Solid CEO Shelley McMillian.
Rock Solid is one of two programs picked by the Community Foundation to receive grant money through the swim fund. The other is the YMCA.
McMillian says people can still get their kids on a waiting list, and that people are getting moved from that list daily.
"We can't guarantee that we're going to get them on a list, but we're going to keep taking forms because I don't want to waste a single spot, because that's , in essence, a life that we're looking at possibly saving."
Rock Solid will run five two week sessions at five different pools. Each session will have three time slots. Shelley McMillian says that breaks down to about 15 different sessions they will actually be running.
The goal of the free lessons through the swim fund is to help prevent another Red River Tragedy, or any other drowning from happening again, one lesson at a time.
"It's not all the strokes, but it's teaching them how to breathe under water, how to not panic, how to swim on top of the water, and so forth," McMillian says.
Brenda Gilley says getting her son into lessons for free is a blessing.
"I'm a single parent. Single parents need a little help sometimes."
To sign your child up, you can go by Rock Solid. It's housed at Calvary Baptist Academy.