CHICAGO — Dozens of parks throughout the city will take part in the World's Largest Swim Lesson Thursday.
Seventy-six locations will offer free swim lessons that day including Ogden Park, 6500 S. Racine Ave., Abbott Park, 49 E. 95th St., Columbus and Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Drive.
Chicago residents are invited to Chicago Park District locations across the city to take part in the World’s Largest Swim Lesson at 6 p.m. The event is part of a global attempt to break the record for the world’s largest swim lesson, a record that the Park District helped break last year.
The movement was created to bring awareness and help prevent the drowning of children.
According to the swim lesson organizers' website, drowning is the second leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for children ages 1-14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children ages 1-4, the website says, yet many children do not receive formal swimming or water safety training.
In 2014 the Park District gave lessons to 930 people at 72 locations.
“Swimming is valuable life skill that we encourage both children and adults to learn” said Michael Kelly, general superintendent and CEO of the Park District. “We proudly offer swimming lessons year round for residents of all ages.”
Participants are encouraged to register before Thursday on the Chicago Park District's website. Some locations may offer onsite registration at 5 p.m. Thursday, if space remains.