CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - "I can swim!" - It's a simply phrase, and if it's true for you, it can change your life.
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hundreds of kids proved they could swim after weeks of practice this summer as part of the "I CAN SWIM!" Project and Scholarship Program, hosted by the Cincinnati Recreation Commission (CRC).
"They are demonstrating swimming in the water, jumping into the water, being able to go on their back, being able to go on their front, being able to do rhythmic breathing on their side, making sure that we help kids be safe in the water," explained CRC Aquatics Director Jincey Yemaya.
The "I CAN SWIM!" Project is American Red Cross instruction designed to save lives, dedicated to memory of Bryce and Cameron Jeff, ages 8 and 10, who drowned in a neighbor's backyard pool in June of 2011.
Led by the boys' parents, the project aims to give meaning to Cameron and Bryce's their untimely deaths.
"Sharing the story is very important so that someone else can benefit from it and not experience the situation we've gone through." explained their mother, Barbara Jeff.
"It's too hard to hear kids when they drown at a swimming pool, and we make sure that we teach them to swim so we change those numbers, we change those statistics," said explained Yemaya.
In just a few days, hundreds of kids in the program picked up new skills in the water. Some previously scared of the water are now jumping off of the diving board.
Seven-year-old Nyla Mintergriff says, "Backflips, and I can do the breaststroke."
If you or your children don't know how to swim, the CRC offers swim lessons year-round. Find out pool locations, lesson information and more here: http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/recreation/