Chicago kids urged: Learn to swim!

June 25, 2008 3:16:14 PM PDT
Mayor Daley and the Chicago Park District are pushing kids to learn to swim especially in the city's minority communities. The mayor was at Union Park on the city's West Side promoting swimming as healthy, fun and important to know how to do.

A survey by the University of Memphis shows nearly 60 percent of African-American youth can't swim, compared to only 31 percent of white children. There's also a high number of Hispanic children who do not know how to swim.

"I encourage you to teach your children, and I encourage your children to learn how to swim, because swimming -- you do better in academics. You can have a job all summer. You can get scholarships if you know how to swim. Swimming opens a whole new world for you," said Wanda Butts, son drowned.

In honor of Chicago's Olympic and Paralympics bid,1936 Olympic gold medalist Adolph Kiefer is donating $20,000 worth of equipment to help kids learn how to swim.