DES MOINES – May is Water Safety Month and with the weather warming up many Iowans are looking forward to cooling off at the pool, by the lake, or on the river.

The most basic and important water safety skill is learning how to swim. Des Moines Parks and Recreation has been offering swim lessons for decades and in recent years has expanded its swim program.

“Not only do we provide financial assistance but we also offer English language learner lessons for people who are new to the country not familiar with being around open water because we want everyone to swim and to swim safely,” Jen Fletcher with the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department said.

Fletcher says the scholarship programs were very successful last year and expects them to grow this year.

“We want everybody to learn how to swim and that’s why we offer sessions for everybody at every age point and we offer scholarships,” Fletcher said. “So we had 800 kids be able to learn how to swim for $5 last year.”

To sign up for swim lessons with the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department you can visit the department’s website.