A Century in Aquatics
Making the water safer for everyone.
About the Centennial Campaign
Join us as we champion water safety for the next 100 years. With programs based on the latest science, and new ways to learn in the water and online, you’ll be ready to get your feet wet.
July 2, 2016. Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Trainer Alexis Feldman trains a new group of WSIs who will teach children and adults to swim and be safe in and around the water as part of the Aquatics Centennial Campaign with the City of Orlando Department of Families, Parks & Recreation.
July 26, 2017. Gabriela Jimenez, 5, beams with pride as she learns to swim and be safer in and around the water.
June 14, 2017. Nathan Louis, 6, is all smiles in his swim lessons with Water Safety Instructor, Charles Eggers, 17, as part of the Aquatics Centennial Campaign.
June 14, 2017. Learning to swim and about water safety is a family affair in the Aquatics Centennial Campaign.
June 14, 2017. Water Safety Instructor, Glenn Pollack, engages the children at the start of each swim lesson through the Centennial Campaign with water safety.
June 14, 2017. Water Safety Instructor, Leila Horne, 17, teaches her students arm strokes during swim lessons as part of the Aquatics Centennial Campaign.
June 14, 2017. The partnerships among the American Red Cross Aquatics Centennial Campaign, Lee County Parks and Recreation, and the Lee County Sheriff’s Youth Activities League is making swim lessons and recreational swim time possible throughout the summer for families who live near the Tice Community Pool. This program is making these families safer as the gain the life skills of swimming and water safety.
June 12, 2017. Isobella Martinez, 6, and Alejandra Martinez, 9, learning to swim as part of the Aquatics Centennial Campaign.
June 12, 2017. Children happily learning to swim as part of the Aquatics Centennial Campaign.
June 12, 2017. Gustavo San Martin, 7, poses proudly with Water Safety Instructor, Joseph Medina, after a swim lesson provided as part of the Aquatics Centennial Campaign.
A Founding Partner in the Centennial Campaign
Helping Save Lives
A National Action To Reduce Drowning Rates, In 50 Cities and Towns
To mark our century of swimming safety education, the Red Cross is working with its partners to teach 50,000 more people in 50 selected cities across 19 states how to swim, and is urging people across the country to make sure that they and their families can swim.
The Red Cross and its partners train more than two million people a year in swimming. The Campaign is a multi-year action that will increase our impact by 50,000 and hopefully inspire many more people to sign up for swimming and water safety lessons at local facilities.
Are You Competent In The Water?
The Campaign comes at a time when a national survey* shows that people believe they are better swimmers than they actually are. The survey, conducted for the Red Cross, found that while 80 percent of Americans said they could swim, only 56 percent of the self-described swimmers can perform all five of the basic skills that might help to save their life in the water.
This sequence of critical water safety skills, also known as “water competency,” are the ability to:
The Centennial Campaign heats up each year as summer gets underway, and millions of Americans head to the beach, pool, water park, or boating or fishing. Let’s all make water safety a priority. Make sure both adults and children can swim and be safe in the water.
*The national public opinion survey was conducted for the Red Cross April 17-20, 2014 using ORC International’s Online CARAVAN omnibus survey.
Centennial Campaign Highlights
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 in 50 local communities where those rates exceed the national average or the numbers of drownings are high.
As of June 30th, 2017, significant milestones have been met -- and we are still going strong! Since our launch in May 2014, kids and adults have participated in more than 41,340 sets of swim lessons. These lessons are helping thousands of families who may not have had the opportunity gain the critical safety skills of water competency if not for the Centennial Campaign.
The campaign is also helping train lifeguards and swim instructors in these communities-so far, 1,092 more trained individuals are teaching people to swim and about water safety and helping keep others safe in and around the water. Another 883 youth are gaining the skills they need to become future lifeguards through Junior Lifeguarding. And nearly 3,600 parents and caregivers have learned more about drowning prevention and what to do if things go wrong. In our fourth year of the campaign, we are filling more than 204 pools and waterfronts in 88 towns in 17 states. See our State Listing below for a full list of our Centennial Campaign partners.
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.