The American Red Cross offers the best training and tips on how to be safe in, on, and around the water. They have been the leader in swimming instruction since 1914. Now the winning tradition continues with an exciting collection of courses designed to make learning easier and to help you benefit from the latest research on instructional techniques.
Not sure which level your child should be in? See the Red Cross Learn-to-Swim descriptions for each level listed below. View our aquatics flier.
Summer registration is open. Click here to register for a course.
Level 1 - Water Exploration (Ages 5-12)
- Prerequisite: NONE. The objective of Level 1 is to help students feel comfortable in the water and enjoy the water safely.
- Skills Taught: Elementary aquatic skills; development of good attitudes and safe practices around water; safety rules; buddy system; demonstration of buoyancy; and willingness to try new things and overcome fears.
Level 2 - Fundamental Aquatic Skills (Ages 5-12)
- Prerequisite: Enter water unassisted, move forward 5 yards, bob 5 times. Front float with support with face in water for 5 seconds, roll onto back and back float with support.
- Skills Taught: Success with fundamental skills; simultaneous and alternating arm and leg action on the front and back; begin rotary breathing; fundamenals of treading water; and self-help and basic rescue skills and floats.
Level 3 - Stroke Development (Ages 5-15)
- Requirements: Enter chest deep water, front float 5 seconds, roll over to back float 5 seconds and stand up. Swim front crawl for 15 feet.
- Skills Taught: Coordinate the front crawl and back crawl; introduction to elements of butterfly, breaststroke and elementary backstroke; efficiency with of treading water; rules and skills for headfirst entry; and additional safety skills.
Level 4 - Stroke Improvement (Ages 5-15)
- Prerequisite: Jump into water, swim front crawl 15 yards, tread water 30 seconds and then swim back crawl for 15 yards.
- Skills Taught: Developing confidence in the strokes learned in previous levels; improve front and back crawl skills and increase endurance; build on butterfly; breaststroke and elementary backstroke; introduce sidestroke; and basics of turning at walls.
Level 5 - Stroke Refinement (Ages 8-16)
- Prerequisite: Jump into water, swim front crawl 25 yards, back float for 1 minute, and swim elementary backstroke 15 yards. Swim breaststroke 15 yards, tread water 1 minute back crawl 25 yards.
- Skills Taught: Coordination and refinement of strokes, front crawl, back crawl, butterfly, breaststroke, elementary backstroke, sidestroke; increase distances; increase treading water time and efficiency; and flip turns.
Level 6 - Swimming & Skill Proficiency (Ages 8-16)
- Prerequisite: Shallow dive, swim front crawl for 25 yards, back float for 1 minute, swim elementary backstroke 15 yards. Swim breaststroke 25 yards, tread water for 2 minutes, swim back crawl 50 yards.
- Skills Taught: Refine strokes-ease, efficiency, power smoothness of greater distances; introduction to other aquatic activities; surface dives, survival swimming. Areas of Focus: personal safety and fitness swimming.