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      Young swimmers learn water safety with 'The Josh Project'

      The Josh Project is back in the pool offering swim lessons to young kids, and itâ??s making a bigger splash than ever.

      Enrollment in the non-profit organizationâ??s swimming lessons program is higher than ever before. The Josh Projectâ??s founder Wanda Butts says the programâ??s impact is reaching new depths as the 2014 classes begin at St. Francis de Sales High School.

      That makes me so happy, that means that the word is getting out there, the importance of children learning how to swim and being water safe,â?? said Butts. She continued, â??This is the time of year that they need to be here.â??

      Josh Butts, Wandaâ??s son, drowned in the summer of 2006 at the age of 16 because he never learned how to swim. A year later, Butts started The Josh Project to help prevent water tragedies from happening to other families. Itâ??s why Tracy Murphy enrolled her son and nephew in the program.

      â??Just so I can feel comfortable whenever theyâ??re away from me and near the water,â?? said Murphy. She continued, â??Knowing that they can swim and know all the survival skills.â??

      Both boys are new to swimming, and their initial Josh Project swimmerâ??s assessment card showed it. The six-week program aims to improve their swimming skills in several categories.

      Itâ??s a foundation that aims to keep kids safe and parents comfortable with their childrenâ??s swimming ability. A feeling Wanda Butts says will keep The Josh Project swimming towards the future.