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KCMO Park and Rec forms new partnership to offer free swim lessons to children

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City, Mo. Parks and Recreation Department announced Thursday that it is teaming up with a pool management company to offer free swimming lessons.

The department said they are pairing with Midwest Pool Management to offer the free swim lessons to children beginning this summer.

The goal is to lower the possibility of a water-related incident and increase water safety knowledge.

From 2004 to 2014 -- the Centers for Disease Control reported more than 3,500 drownings in the country. That's almost 10 drownings per day, and one in five of those deaths were children 14 and younger.

The Parks and Rec Department believes it can help lower that number.

"Water safety is very important," KC Parks and Rec Director Mark McHenry said. "Water provides great recreational opportunities throughout the city and a great place to cool off on a hot summer day. The safety of water is critical. If you are one who gets into water over your head and you don't know how to swim, that may be a very bad day for you unfortunately."

"We think about kids and that's absolutely who we are targeting, but there's no age limit," KC Parks and Rec Deputy Director Terry Rynard said. "So for those parents who have been a little hesitant to take their kids to the pool or take their kids swimming, we would encourage them to come take those level one and two classes as well."

For more information about free beginning swim lessons -- or to register your child for lessons click here.