OTHER OPINION: Project Swim encourages Shreveport

By Shreveport Times

For the third year in a row, thanks to the efforts of Mayor Cedric Glover, the city of Shreveport is once again offering free swimming lessons to the public with the help of Rock Solid Sports in a continuing effort to save young lives. The annual program called Project Swim kicked off last Wednesday and will run weekly through July 26.
We applaud the city for not only continuing the program, but also increasing its capacity. This year a funding grant for $72,000 has allowed an enrollment of 1,500 children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years old.
Since 2011 Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation through its contractor Rock Solid has taught the free lessons to more than 2,100 children. According to the mayor’s office, there were an additional 250 children who took paid lessons from Rock Solid and the city in 2011. In 2012, about 1,200 children received the free lessons.
“We have put together an effort that has resulted in over three years of over 2,000 individuals in Shreveport … being provided the kind of life-saving water skills that hopefully can put us in a position to see someone avoid the kind of tragedy we experienced in 2010,” Glover said.
Project Swim was initiated in 2011 the wake the horrific tragedy of the summer of 2010 when six Shreveport teenagers drowned in Red River.
While those families can never recover what they have lost, we hope they will take solace in the fact that from their tragedy, something good was born. Indeed, we can now celebrate the lives of LaTevin, Litrelle, LeDarius, Takeitha, JaMarcus and JaTavious in the fact that more than 2,000 people have been taught a valuable, life-saving skill.
We echo the mayor’s sentiments and appreciate the city’s attention to teaching children this vital ability.