The ATL natives target the Carrie Steele-Pitts Home for abandoned and neglected children on Atlanta’s west side. “Swimming is generational,” said Roberta Shields who runs the Ludacris Foundation (via Billboard). “I’m blessed because my grandfather swam. His grandfather swam. It wasn’t a matter of if you’re learning to swim, but when.”
Unfortunately, African-American and Latino children and adults never learn how to swim. During an April 30 event, Ludacris changed into his swimming trunks and raced one of the organization’s best swimmers 19 year-old Michael Jones as kids cheered them on. Keri Hilson cut her vacation short to attend the event as well.
Speaking on her swimming skills, Hilson said, “I was pretty good…I’m really proud of the exposure I got to swimming, and I just want to give that back to others in my community.”
When considering the “need” for young people to learn how to swim in urban neighborhoods, it’s important to consider the availability of resources in addition to the time and money necessary to invest in the lessons. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 4, and ranks second only to car wrecks for those ages 5 to 14.
So it’s important for young children to learn the basics of swimming. We also suggest that children and adults attend CPR training classes as well.
Props to Luda and Keri Hilson for reaching back to their community.