By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s free “Learn To Swim” program, which offers swimming lessons for anyone ages four and older, began on Monday.

The DCR created the program following a series of drownings in recent months. It is being offered at the following locations:

  • Gerald J. Mason Memorial Swimming Pool, Agawam
  • John H. Thomas Memorial Swimming Pool, Springfield
  • Philip J. Weihn Memorial Swimming Pool, Clinton
  • Sen. P. Eugene Casey Memorial Swimming Pool, Milford
  • Melnea A. Cass Memorial Swimming Pool and Spray Deck
  • Clarence W. Dealtry Memorial Swimming Pool, Watertown
  • Veterans Memorial Swimming Pool at Magazine Beach, Cambridge
  • Reilly Memorial Swimming Pool, Brighton

Anyone interested in signing up should call their local facility. They can also contact or call (857) 283-1298.

Learn to Swim classes will take place Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.–11 a.m at DCR Pools. Classes will continue until August 13 in three sessions.

Registration is mandatory and classes will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. All sessions are 30 minutes long.

Many YMCAs around Boston and Massachusetts are also offering swim lessons, as is the American Red Cross. For more information, visit the Red Cross website.

The state also issued a number of tips for remaining safe while swimming in DCR waters.

People are urged to remain in designated swimming areas, swim in the buddy system, keep a close eye on children near the water, teach children to always ask for permission before going near the water, and don’t swim beyond your skillset. Staff