NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Two children die every day from drowning and minority children are three times as likely as white children to drown, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

That’s why New York City is trying to teach kids to swim and is offering free lessons. The program is called Learn to Swim.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell On The Story

Curtis Hall, 6, was learning to swim at the Jackie Robinson Pool in Harlem.

“I learned to kick. I learned how to do a starfish,” he told Haskell. A starfish is basically floating.

His father Curt sees a big difference after the lessons.

“He didn’t like going under the water, but now with the instructors and everything he really likes it,” Curt said.

Curtis is one of 20,000 kids being taught to swim by the Parks Department.

“There are too many children drowning and in order to prevent drowning, take a Learn to Swim class,” Aquatics Director John Hutchins told Haskell.

Registration is still open. To find a class near you, click here.

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