For years, Parks of NYC has offered free swim instruction to city children. Commissioner Moses launched a free swim program in 1938 as a public safety initiative, in response to the reported 400 drownings each year in New York City.
The "Learn to Swim" instruction also was considered a healthy alternative to "the polluted waters which bound the City." The Parks Department estimated that thousands of people learned how to swim as a result of the lessons. Today, the Learn to Swim Program teaches about 7,000 children each summer.
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