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Here is some water fun enjoyed by my kids and their cousins, courtesy of swimming skills! Knowing how to swim is the gift that keeps on giving and is easiest to learn as a young child. Swimmers enjoy sports such as kayaking, rafting, diving, snorkeling, scuba and can interact with water confidently.

According to a Diversity in Aquatics article, “Black children drown at a rate more than three times that of white children,” and nearly 70 percent of African-American children do not know how to swim according to a YMCA survey.

It’s not too late in the year (or in life) to sign up for swim lessons at your local YMCA or community pool. Some camps, such as those offered by Outdoor Afro Tracey Friley’s OBG Adventure Camps, help teen girls come of age through culturally sensitive travel and water exploration. If you are a grown-up, consider taking lessons solo or with other adults. There are many classes available at local community colleges, with some even specialized for adults who might feel uncertain about the water.

If you and your loved ones don’t know how to swim, now is the time to learn. Learning to swim not only prevents unnecessary drowning, but also helps you get the most out of your summer fun!

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