The state of New York has expanded its free, learn-to-swim pilot program funded through a collaboration between New York State Parks, American Red Cross, New York State Department of Health and the National Swimming Pool Foundation. The 10-day training sessions are expected to teach 500 more children to swim this summer in addition to providing water safety education.

A media event, held July 9 at Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx, kicked off the program with the commissioner of parks, American Red Cross Greater N.Y. Region CEO and the chair of NSPF’s Step Into Swim Committee there to celebrate. More than 30 kids enjoyed their first swim lessons in the 50-meter pool.

“This is a terrific program that we hope to expand not only with New York state. We hope people will donate to the Step Into Swim campaign so we can expand opportunities like this to other communities across the country,” said NSPF CEO Thomas M. Lachocki. “Getting a million new swimmers in the next nine years will require great collaborations like this.”

NSPF will match dollar for dollar donations made to the campaign this year. For more information, go to