MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some 300 children got to learn about water safety on Friday afternoon in Minneapolis.

The organization Abbey’s Hope teamed up with the City of Minneapolis to host the fifth annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.

It was nearly 10 years ago when 6-year-old Abbey Taylor was devastatingly injured in a wading pool.

abbey taylor1 Abbeys Hope Hosts Worlds Largest Swimming Lesson

Abbey Taylor (credit: CBS)

She died the following year from those injuries.

Organizers explain part of her legacy is helping prevent other injuries and drownings by giving swimming lessons to every child possible.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board aquatics coordinator Sarah Chillo said they city’s goal is to teach every child that wants to learn, how to swim.

“The need is great,” Chillo said. “Even though we are the city of lakes there are hundreds and hundreds of kids who have no experience swimming in water.”

The city also has scholarship opportunities and lessons at five different locations across Minneapolis, according to Chillo.

worlds largest swimming lesson abbeys hope Abbeys Hope Hosts Worlds Largest Swimming Lesson

(credit: CBS)

Abbey’s Hope also holds year-round swimming classes, according to co-founder Katey Taylor.

“Part of the Abbey’s Hope reach is any children that qualify for free or reduced lunch, we try to get them access to basic water safety swimming lessons,” Taylor said.

Organizers said drowning is second only to car crashes as the leading cause of unintentional death and injury among children ages 1 to 14 years old.

To learn more about resources for swimming lessons, click here or here.


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