Toledo mother hailed a 'Hero'

Wanda Butts, at the front of the group, gathers with some of her students

A Toledo woman has been named a 'CNN Hero' for her work teaching minority children how to swim.

In 2006, Wanda Butts' son drowned and since then she's been working to make sure the tragedy doesn't happen to another family.

"I save lives by providing swimming lessons and water safety skills," Butts told a CNN crew of her non-profit organization the 'Josh Project'.

The program provides low-cost swimming lessons to children, mostly African-American, in Toledo.

The children practice at St. Francis de Sales High School swimming pool over 4 Saturdays.

According to USA Swimming, 70% of African-American children cannot swim, compared with nearly 60% for Hispanic children and 42% for white children.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found that African-American children between the ages of 5 and 14 are three times more likely to drown than white children in the same age range.

To date, the Josh Project has helped more than 1,000 children learn how to swim.