Report: 70 percent of African-American children can't swim

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A recent study by the USA Swimming Foundation found that 70 percent of African American and 60 percent of Hispanic children do not know how to swim.

According to the CDC  black children drown a rate three times higher than their white peers.

“We need to address this issue and we need to address it immediately,” said James Morton, President, YMCA of Greater Hartford.

Morton says number of factors contributes the statistics, but the main one is access.

“Access to affordable   swim lessons that are conveniently located within communities is the real challenge,” he said.

Morton says the lack of public pools in inner city areas that is now creating a generation of minority children with little to no water safety education.

He says that there is a trend  in cities where the pools are shut down and instead  install sprinkler  systems  and water parks  that  provide  cooling for children ,but do not provide  swim lessons or water safety lessons.

Morton is now making it his mission to open more pools in areas where minority children do not have access.