A Century in Aquatics
Making the water safer for everyone.
For the past 100 years, we’ve been helping millions of kids, teens and adults learn how to swim and become lifeguards and instructors. So the water can be a safer place for everyone.
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 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.
A Founding Partner in the Centennial Campaign:
A National Action To Cut Drowning Rates In Half, In 50 Cities
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.
The Centennial Campaign Is Helping Tens of Thousands Gain the Life Skill of Water Competency
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 or the numbers of drownings are high.
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, 768 more trained individuals are helping keep others safe in and around the water. Another 786 youth are gaining the skills they need to become future lifeguards through Junior Lifeguarding. And nearly 2,850 parents and caregivers have learned more about drowning prevention and what to do if things go wrong. As we enter the third full year, we are filling more than 194 pools and waterfronts in 86 towns in 17 states. See the Partners tab for a full list of our Centennial Campaign partners.
Staying Safe In, On and Around Water
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 teaching an additional 50,000 in at-risk communities and hopefully inspire more people to sign up for swimming and water safety lessons. "We are so proud of the way our training provider partners are embracing the Centennial Campaign," says Connie Harvey, director of the Red Cross' Centennial initiatives. "Together, we are well on our way to our ultimate goal of teaching 50,000 more children and adults during the life of the Centennial Campaign - which will no doubt help save lives."
Our Aquatics Heritage
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.
Read More About the Centennial Campaign
The kids seem more excited about learning to swim.
I like it because I want to swim in the deep end.
I am very excited about the program. Last year my oldest, who is 6 years old, just played in the water. Now he can swim under and above he water. We have a long way to go, but WOW!
This is the fourth week of lessons, my child started out being afraid of the water and now she’s more comfortable. It’s nice to have lessons so close to home. In the future I’d like my whole family to learn to swim.