Published: Aug 03, 2010 11:34 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 03, 2010 7:55 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - In the wake of 6 teenagers losing their lives in Shreveport, La, a local swim instructor said the tragedy brings to light a bigger problem.
Many African Americans do not know how to swim. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta track statistics on child drownings and said that African American children between the ages of 5 and 14 are 3 times more likely to drown than their white counterparts.

In the Dunbar section of Fort Myers, city employees at the Stars Complex are trying to change that.

The center gives free swimming lessons to children who attend summer camp programs there. The center has also given free lessons to select civic groups.

Gary Bostic, the centers senior manager says, many African American kids never get to learn to swim simply because there are not many facilities like the Stars Complex in other urban areas.

Bostic encourages all parents to teach their children to swim.