GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Each week eight children drown in the U.S. according to the CDC.
Page High School lost a student after he drowned shortly after jumping into Buffalo Lake in May.
To prevent these tragedies, the school is now offering swim lessons to students in Malik Ramirez’s honor.
Swimming is an important skill to have as people spend more time around water in the summer heat. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children 4 and older learn how to swim.
Brandy Bogacki has three little boys and another child on the way.
“We’re here for swim lessons. I took swim lessons growing up and I think it’s really important to be independent in the water so you can be safe and have fun,” Bogacki said.
While 18-month-old Cullan is not ready to start learning, 5-year-old Brendan and 3-year-old Aedan are already making a splash.
“It’s never too late to learn. They say an old dog can’t learn new tricks but we see it every day,” said Anitra Fulton, executive director of Swim Fanatics.
She says no matter how young or old her students are there’s usually an initial fear of being underwater.
“I would just encourage people to reach out to your local swim branch program. Find one that’s accessible to you and get started as soon as possible,” Fulton said.
“I think it’s just huge getting them in at a young age so they’re comfortable and not scared,” Bogacki said.
Starting in September, Page High School will offer life-saving water skills to students who have not learned how to swim. But they are asking for donations to turn those non-swimmers into swimmers.
Click here for information on Page Alumni & Friends Learn to Swim program.
They have already raised enough money to get 70 students swimming lessons.
Kids interested will officially sign up the first two weeks of school but there has already been interest and preliminary conversations with students.
The swimmers will be in the pool Sept. 9 at GAC.