Little Otter Swim School

With new language, Florida’s learn-to-swim bill passed last month. Originally, the Every Child a Swimmer bill would have required school districts to ask parents whether their children knew how to swim. Now the law will require schools to give parents information explaining the importance of learning to swim, and listing available resources for lessons and help for lower-income families.

Amended to a large, popular bill, it is expected to receive the governor's signature.

While some individual school districts may already perform the same service, this is the first statewide initiative of its kind, said Bill Kent, chairman of the board with the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the bill’s main proponent. “We’re very grateful that this has passed,” he said. “Over time it’s going to save thousands of lives.”