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Red Cross Centennial Campaign Aims to Lower Drowning Rates By 50%

We could not be more pleased with the number of participants in our first summer of the Campaign.

For the past century, the American Red Cross has helped millions of people learn to swim and be water smart. To honor our 100 years of water safety we launched the Centennial Campaign – a multi-year action to lower drowning rates by 50% in 50 local communities where those rates exceed the national average.

Since our launch in late May and throughout our inaugural season, kids and adults have started swimming lessons and have learned other lifesaving water safety skills. That’s thousands of people who may not have had the opportunity to learn if not for the Centennial Campaign. The first summer filled pools in towns located in Maryland, Florida, South Carolina, California, Louisiana and Alabama. As the Campaign continues over the coming years, more communities, more kids and adults across the country will have the chance to learn how to swim.

The Red Cross and its partners train more than two million people a year in swimming. The Centennial Campaign goal is to increase our impact by an additional 50,000 in at-risk communities and hopefully inspire more people to sign up for swimming and water safety lessons. “We could not be more pleased with the number of participants in our first summer of the Campaign,” says Connie Harvey, director of the Red Cross’ Centennial initiatives. “It’s a great start towards our ultimate goal of teaching 50,000 more children and adults in the next 3-5 years. 

The American Red Cross created the first national water safety program in the U.S. – and today it’s still the gold standard for aquatics training. All of that training is making a difference. In the last century, we’ve helped to reduce accidental drownings by nearly 90% nationwide.

Join us as we continue to champion water safety. Get your feet wet by taking swim lessons and other water safety classes with the Red Cross.

Local Centennial Campaign Partner:

Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore

Beginning in the fall of 2015, in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, the Centennial Campaign is helping teach children and adults how to swim and be safe in and around water at a significantly reduced cost at its facilities in Park Heights and Owings Mills. Centennial Campaign funding is providing scholarships to qualified candidates who want to become trained in Junior Lifeguarding and Lifeguarding and as Water Safety Instructors. Hands-on water safety and pediatric CPR training is available to parents of children in swim lessons at participating facilities.