Free swimming lessons offered at Alief area pool as a part of ‘Summer of Safety’ series


HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The day after two young children drowned in the San Jacinto River, free swimming lessons were offered at the new Alief Neighborhood Center.

The class is part of Councilmember Tiffany Thomas’ ‘Summer of Safety’ series.

“The data tells us low-income families and children don’t have access to swim lessons, so we know it’s hot, we have access to resources, we have lifeguards here, so we wanted to make sure families and young people had access to enjoy the resource,” Thomas said.

RELATED: 2 children drown after swimming in San Jacinto River near Xtreme Off Road Park and Beach, HCSO says

Statistics from ‘Stop Drowning Now’ show that, on average, between 3,500 and 4,000 people die from drowning yearly in the U.S.

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths among children ages one to four.

Early Sunday morning, the bodies of two siblings were recovered in the San Jacinto River.

“Our units arrived and learned a 6-year-old male and 12-year-old female went swimming in the water and went under and did not resurface,” Major Jesse Razo with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.

RELATED: Child dies at hospital after falling into pool in north Harris County neighborhood, Pct. 4 says

Thomas said they want to end that and ensure summer is pleasant for families rather than tragic.

She partnered with Houston Waves Swim Club to provide the class at no cost.

“The reality is that most families don’t know how to swim,” Thomas said. “They’re afraid of the water.”

Only children attended the course on Sunday, but she said it is open to people of all ages.

They are also making a specific effort to reach Houstonians who speak other languages.

“We have promoted in Vietnamese, Mandarin-Chinese, Spanish, and English,” Thomas said. “My intention is to make sure, regardless if you know that the center is here, that if you see this in your language, you find that this is a resource for you.”

The councilmember hopes to host the lessons yearly with multiple offerings in the summer. Future dates have yet to be announced.

The Alief Neighborhood Center is open to the public.

For more on this story, follow Mycah Hatfield on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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