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PeyBack Foundation & LA Red Cross Team Up to Provide Swim Lessons

Red Cross swimming lesson
Research shows that if a child doesn’t learn to swim before the 3rd grade, they likely never will. Early swimming lessons are critical.

NEW ORLEANS, LA. July 16, 2013 – The American Red Cross and the PeyBack Foundation are teaming up to help ensure that St. Bernard Parish families are safe at the beach or swimming pool this summer by sponsoring Water Safety Instructor’s Training and offering free swim lessons at the UNO Aquatics Center.

The program provides free, one-hour lessons every Sunday to youth ages 5 to 18. The Introduction to Water Skills program introduces first-time swimmers to skills that can keep them safe in and around the water while providing “learn to swim better” instruction for more experienced and advanced students. Registration is required and space is limited.

The program is managed by volunteer, Red Cross trained water safety instructors and provides free, one-hour lessons on Sundays to youth ages 5 to 18. The water safety instructors attend free training sessions the week prior to the first swim class. Following successful completion of the training, these participants assist in teaching the swim lessons which consist of 5 consecutive Sunday classes.

“This partnership with the PeyBack Foundation provides a needed service in our area where there are so many waterways, lakes, bayous, and rivers, as well as home pools, said Kay W. Wilkins, American Red Cross South Louisiana Region CEO. The value of this community service and the impact on our community is profound even if just one of the participants find themselves in a life-threatening situation and use the skills learned in swim class.”

The two free programs are the Water Safety Instructor Lessons (value of $250) held the week before the swimming lessons. The water safety instructors then assist in teaching the lessons on 5 consecutive Sunday classes, each a 50-minute session of swim instruction.

Water Safety Instructor Class

Participants must be at least 16 years old and proficient swimmers. This approximately 30-hour course will train participants to teach skills that may save a life and help them gain terrific work experience as an aquatics professional. In addition they will learn organizational and presentation skills that will help them in any career and to make a difference in people’s lives.

University of New Orleans Aquatic Center

6801 Franklin Ave, New Orleans, LA 70122

Friday, August 9, 2013

6:00 p.m. – 10:00p.m.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Water safety instructors must help teach the swim lessons scheduled on five consecutive Sundays (August 11, 18, 25, September 1, 8).

Introduction to Water Safety Skills

There are no prerequisites for this course. The objective of Level 1 is to help students feel comfortable in the water and to enjoy the water safely. Level 1 participants learn to: enter and exit the water safely, submerge mouth, nose and eyes, exhale and open eyes under-water, roll over from front to back and back to front with support, explore floating on front and back with support, explore swimming on front and back using arm and leg actions with support and use of life jacket.

University of New Orleans Aquatic Center

6801 Franklin Ave, New Orleans, LA 70122

5 Consecutive Sundays:

August 11, 2013

August 18, 2013

August 25, 2013

September 1, 2013

September 8, 2013

Select one session each Sunday:

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


Register online at: or call 1-800-Red Cross.

Use coupon code STBWSI0713 for free registration to the Water Safety Instructor Class, reference offering ID – 02331449.

Use coupon code STBSWIM20130713 for free registration to the Introduction to Water Skills Class. Reference: offering ID – 02331441 (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.) or offering ID – 02331443 (2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.).

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

The Southeast Louisiana Chapter serves more than 1.6 million people throughout Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John, Assumption, Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington Parishes. For more information please call 504-620-3105. Join us on Facebook at or follow us on twitter: @RedCrossSELA.