It's rec centers like these that provide safe spaces and critical resources for children in the community.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Jumping right into summer, kids in Philadelphia were excited to kick off the season Wednesday with the opening of their neighborhood pools.
After overcoming a lifeguard shortage that shuttered a number of pools city-wide, the city opened its first pool at the newly designated Tiffany Fletcher Recreation Center in West Philadelphia.
Tiffany Fletcher was a beloved recreation center employee and mother of three. She was killed in the crossfire of a shootout, right outside the rec center back in September.
"In Tiffany's memory it's the first time we were able to open every single available pool in the city of Philadelphia in one summer," said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
It's rec centers like these that provide safe spaces and critical resources for children in the community. It's what brought Lisa Kidd out on Wednesday.
"This is how we can help kids find something different to do than what's aggravating them or upsetting them, and we can have people here supporting them with resources. I think it's awesome," said Kidd, with the Healing Hurt People at Drexel University.
She took a dip with Parks and Recreation Commissioner Orlando Rendon, despite the cold and rainy conditions.
It was all to celebrate what's shaping up to be a successful summer.
"We can't open 61 pools in one day, so that's why it's a slow roll for the next couple of weeks. We are still onboarding lifeguards as we speak, so we can make sure we have a full staff for every pool to be safe," said Rendon.
Milan Howell answered the call for lifeguards during last year's shortage and says she is back this year because of the connections she made with the community.
"Last year I really got to know a lot of the kids in my neighborhood and that was fun, and I became someone they looked up to and that was really new to me," said Howell.
All city pools are offering free swimming lessons all summer long. Pools are scheduled to open before July 4.