Kids will learn to ditch floaties and swim - for free - thanks to new program

Second-graders across the five boroughs are ditching their floaties and learning how to tread water thanks to a new program.  
The new program called Wave Makers will help teach 2,000 second-graders how to swim  - completely free of charge -  thanks to a $1.5 million grant.  
According to the CDC, drowning is the second-leading cause of death in kids ages 5 to 14 – meaning these classes can be the difference between life and death.  
The program offers two options – an intensive four- to five-week summer program and a school year option that takes place over the course of the school year. Wave Makers has partnered with Asphalt Green to teach kids how to swim for the past three decades.  
“Our goal, no matter where they are starting off with the program, is that they’re deep-water proficient,” said David Ludwig, senior director of community programs with Asphalt Green.  
Officials say this is a massive step in bridging the gap of cost and opportunity for students to learn to swim.