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Students at Walker Upper Elementary to Get Swim Lessons

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Students at Charlottesville’s Walker Upper Elementary School will get free swim lessons thanks to the determination of one fifth grade class.

The English as a Second Language students wrote a letter to the city school board after their friend Yube Chaw drowned last May at a birthday party.

They asked to take swim lessons at the city's Crow Recreation Pool next to their school.

In response, the city and the school system launched a new swimming education program for them.

Come this fall, the program will expand to all fifth graders at Walker.

"This gives them the opportunity also as they become adults to have these skills to past down to their families and it gives us an ability to help them waterproof the community. Everybody will have a better chance of knowing how to swim and we'll have less chances of things happening that we don't want to happen,” said Chris Schuma, Walker physical education teacher.

The Ben Hair Just Swim for Life Foundation is donating the funds needed to support the program.

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