WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — According to the CDC drowning is a leading cause of death for children. A public charter school in D.C. is trying to prevent that.

Eagle Academy in Southeast D.C. has swimming lessons built into the school curriculum.

It was the vision of the school’s founder to offer swimming lessons as a way to open up opportunities to children who may not otherwise have access to a pool. When the school opened in 2014, the pool was built.

Swimming lessons are offered year-round, to students through third grade. They take lessons up to twice a week.

Principal Aaron LeCoin said, “It really helps our students gain a better sense with less fear of the water, less fear of the pool.” He also said the kids have increased confidence in themselves.

LeCoin said the classes helped them realize there are more sports available to them than more traditional choices such as football or basketball.

Public pools in D.C. are now open.