WAYLAND (CBS) – Here’s a shocking statistic as the weather warms up: 70 percent of African American kids don’t know how to swim. And drowning is the second leading cause of unintended death in kids under 14.

When a Wayland High student heard those numbers six years ago, she decided to start a program to teach METCO kids how to swim, for free.

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Now dozens of kids from the inner city who are bused to Wayland schools attend a program called Water Warriors.

Water Warriors swim program in Wayland (Image from David Robichaud/WBZ-TV)

Water Warriors swim program in Wayland (Image from David Robichaud/WBZ-TV)

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Volunteers, many from the Wayland High swim team, show the kids everything from water safety to how to do the backstroke.

The director of the Wayland METCO program told WBZ that many of these kids don’t have access to city pools because they’re closed now. She said at least 250 students have learned how to swim since the non-profit group Water Warriors formed.

One seventh grader told us she was upset about being in a lower level class so she kept getting better to rise another level!

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For more information about the program contact: janetschwartz@comcast.net