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Be advised of the dangers of swimming

Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths among children, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recently, a Times-Picayune article documented one such case, in which Zaven Spears of Kenner perished as a result of his unfamiliarity with swimming. Every day, children are placed in a similarly dangerous situation due to the lack of supervision from parents and to the inaccessibility of swimming pools. This is especially true among underprivileged children. According to USA Swimming, 70% of African-American children and 60% of Latino children do not know how to swim.

Six months after the death of their child, Oasha and Rubin Spears created a foundation called Zaven's Wishes. Its mission is to teach children from ages 4 to 13 how to swim and how to help a drowning person. This program, however, has concluded and is not set to return until an unspecified date. In the meantime, the foundation will organize a water safety day scheduled for Saturday, July 28th, 2012; throughout the day, the children will be taught the basics of water safety. Additionally, the South Louisiana Swim Team and the American Red Cross will be present to assist. Please visit if you'd like to learn more.

by Michael Oro, Contributor 

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