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Metro Parks partnering with Howard’s Hope to reduce juvenile drownings


Statistics show staggering amount of children from disadvantaged communities cannot swim

Nashville, TN --- Metro Parks is partnering with Howard’s Hope to provide free swim lessons at Coleman, Hartman, and Hadley Regional Centers this summer.

Howard’s Hope is an organization dedicated to reducing juvenile drownings by providing economically disadvantaged youth access to programs that provide aquatic safety lessons and water survival training.

According to recent data, the number of children who are unable to swim is staggering. Statistics show 70% of African-American, 60% of Hispanic/Latino, and 40% of Caucasian children cannot swim. Statistics also show that formal swimming lessons produce an 88% reduction in the drowning rate of children.

To reduce the number of children who cannot swim, or have very limited swimming ability, Howard's Hope created its Flying Fish Program, which is offered this summer at the three facilities listed below.

  • Coleman Regional Community Center April 11 - May 4 Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Ages 6 to 14
  • Hadley Regional Community Center May 1 - May 11 Monday – Thursday 5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Ages 6 to 14
  • Hartman Regional Community Center April 3 - April 26 Mondays & Wednesdays 3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Ages 7 to 8

For information on how to register children for the free swim lessons, visit and click on the “Flying Fish Application” link or send an email to Howard’s Hope was founded by Steve A. Reeves and his wife in 2014 after they witnessed the horrific near-drowning of their 4-year old daughter in the family's swimming pool.

Metro Parks maintains a variety of seasonal outdoor pools and year-round indoor pools that offer free admission during open swimming and lap times. There is a fee for swimming classes and groups at all pools.

Pools are located at Coleman, East, Hadley, and Hartman Regional Centers. Outdoor pools (summer only) are located at Cleveland, Looby, and E. S. Rose Community Centers. Napier Community Center offers an indoor pool that is open only during the summer.