American Red Cross Learn to Swim Classes

BRAINS offers American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim classes during its summer program providing instruction to help swimmers of ages 6 through 14 develop their swimming and water safety skills. BRAINS ARC Learn to Swim classes are multi-level with students grouped by ability displayed. Levels achieved generally range from 1 to 4 in these classes. For the course schedule and registration information click here.

An Adult Learn to Swim class is also offered during the summer session:

American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim teaches aquatic and safety skills in a logical progression. The objective is to teach people to swim and to be safe in, on and around the water.

Skills are categorized in the following way:

  • Water Entry and Exit
  • Breath Control and Underwater Swimming
  • Buoyancy
  • Changing Direction and Position
  • Treading
  • Swimming on Front, Back and Side
  • General and Personal Water Safety
  • Helping Others


Course Progression

The six learn-to-swim levels and the objectives for each level include:

Level 1
Introduction to Water Skills: helps students feel comfortable in the water and to enjoy the water safely. At this most elementary  level, BRAINS' ARC Learn to Swim instructors provide the necessary support to acclimate the student to an aquatic environment in order to create a sound foundation for aquatic and safety skills.

Course Content Includes:

  • Water entry and exit
  • Treading
  • Supported floating and kicking on front and back
  • Alternating arm action
  • Water safety rules
  • Breath control
  • Reaching assists without equipment
  • Fundamentals of using a life jacket

Level 2
Fundamental Aquatic Skills: gives students success with fundamental skills. At this stage of the swimmer's development BRAINS' ARC Learn to Swim course expands on fundamental aquatic locomotion and safety skills.

Course Content Includes:

  • Floating and kicking on front and back
  • Breath control
  • Underwater swimming
  • Combined stroke on front and back
  • Changing direction and position
  • Side swimming
  • Reaching and extension assists

Level 3
Stroke Development: builds on the skills in Level 2 by providing additional guided practice. At this level BRAINS' ARC Learn to Swim course reinforces safety and rescue skills while increasing swimming skill competency.

Course Content Includes:

  • Fundamentals of elementary backstroke
  • Jumping into deep water with a life jacket
  • Diving from side of pool
  • Front side and back side strokes
  • Treading water
  • Self-rescue skills
  • Reaching assist

Level 4
Stroke Improvement: develops confidence in the strokes learned and to improve other aquatic skills. At this level, the breaststroke and sidestroke are introduced.

Course Content Includes:

  • Breath control and refinement
  • Dives from the side of pool from stride and standing positions
  • Front, back and side strokes
  • Turns at the wall
  • Throwing assist and choking fist aid

Level 5
Stroke Refinement: provides further coordination and refinement of strokes including front crawl, back crawl, elementary backstroke, breaststroke and sidestroke. The butterfly, surface dives, and springboard diving are also all introduced at this level.

Course Content Includes:

  • Alternate breathing
  • Swimming underwater
  • Butterfly
  • Open turns on front and back
  • Tuck and pike surface dives
  • Diving safety
  • Beginning diving progression from diving board
  • Survival swimming
  • Rescue breathing

Level 6 - Fitness Swimming Module
Swimming and Skill Proficiency: refines the strokes so students swim them with ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over greater distances. At this level, surface dives and flip turns are introduced.

Course Content Includes:

  • Approach and hurdle on diving board
  • Using a pace clock
  • Alternate kicks for treading water
  • Advanced water safety
  • Approach stroke
  • Endurance training
  • Turning skills
  • Pulling a buoy while swimming