Swimming lessons: 'We have over 300 kids a year'

REEDSPORT, Ore. -- As we head into the summer months, it seems far to often that we see a drowning in the headlines, but at the Highland Swimming Pool in Reedsport, they initiated a swimming lesson program.

They say the results have been pretty remarkable.

Knox Story, the district manager, says a series of drownings prompted the community to take action. "In 1953, there were three drownings in Reedsport in three separate incidents," said Story.

A short time later, a Reedsport resident privately funded the facility, which now provides free lessons for Kindergarten through sixth grade kids in Reedsport.

The program has been going on since 1955. "There's never been a drowning from any of the children that went through this program from a lack of swimming skill," said Story.

Cindy Wiggans has been an instructor at the pool for years, and has guided many students through the process. "A few thousand, we have over 300 kids a year," she said.

There have been times over the years when lack of funding nearly sank the program, but community support not only has the program afloat but it's swimming steadily.