This summer, Quran Wright learned how to swim.
And after being taught a few strokes, the 6-year-old was happily splashing with other children at the pool in Sherbondy Village Park in Opa-locka.
“I like going to the pool,” Quran said. “I like exercising.”
The pool opened for the first time this summer and was well received by residents, according to Charles Brown, director of parks and recreation for Opa-locka.
“It was a monumental addition to the city of Opa-locka,” Brown said.
Between swim lessons for children and adults, the city’s summer camp program and public swim times the pool was used by hundreds throughout the summer.
“They enjoy it,” said Robert Reddick, who taught the swimming classes. “They’re having fun and they know they must learn how to do this.”
Reddick added that swimming skills are important to learn, especially after considering the states rates of drowning incidents.
According to the Florida Department of Health, the state has the highest rate of unintentional drowning in the nation for children between 1 and 4 years old.
“They never know what situation might arise,” Reddick said.
To keep children safe in the water, Reddick taught his students to always swim with a buddy and to always swim with adult supervision.
Although the pool closed a week ago, Brown is looking forward to reopening next summer.
“It was a big addition to the community,” he said.