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    Swimming Lessons

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    Online registration begins Monday, April 20, 2020 at 8 a.m. Walk-in registration also begins April 20 at Ankeny Parks & Recreation located at 220 W. First St. Registrations will NOT be accepted by mail or by phone, only in person or online. 

    Registering online? We recommend using a desktop computer if possible, the registration software occasionally experiences some compatibility issues with mobile devices at check out.

    Space availability limits each child to signing up for one class only. Persons registering a child for more than one class prior to June 14 will be subject to a $5 transaction fee and the child being removed from swim lessons. Classes are filled on a first come, first served basis. You may sign up for additional classes beginning June 14 if there are openings. If you sign up for a second class and your child does not pass in the first class, we cannot guarantee placement in an appropriate class.

    Date Transfer

    A $5 transfer fee will be charged for each transfer from one swim section to another after the initial registration. Please check your swim lesson time with other summer activities before registering.

    Inclement Weather and Facility Closures

    Call the weather hotline, 515-963-3575, for up-to-date announcements and cancellations. During each session, the first interrupted class day will be held at regularly scheduled times in the guard houses of each aquatic center, with swimmers watching the Red Cross Longfellow’s Whale Tales safety videos. Any subsequent makeup days will be rescheduled Friday of the same week.

    Waiting Lists

    If a class is filled you can be placed on a waiting list. We will then contact you if spots become available.

    Course Levels

    Review the skills listed for each class below. The skills listed are those needed in order to pass the class. Can your child complete all of the skills listed? No = enroll in that class. Yes = advance to the next level.

    How do I choose the correct level?
    1. Children enrolling in Red Cross lessons (Level 1-6) must be 5 years old by the first lesson. Younger children or 5 year olds not ready for Red Cross lessons may be interested in our specialized toddler or pre-school swim classes.
    2. Review the skills listed for each class. The skills listed are those skills needed in order to pass the class. Can your child complete all of the skills listed? If yes, advance to the next level. If not, enroll in that class.

    Parent Child Aquatics

    For ages 18 months-3 years along with a parent or guardian

    Parent Child Aquatics is designed to familiarize children 18 months-3 years in the water with help from a parent or guardian. Instructors provide water safety for parents as well as holding/support techniques. The American Red Cross does not focus on independent swimming at this age and does not encourage forced submersions. Children participating are required to wear a swim diaper.

    Preschool Aquatics

    For ages 3-5 years

    This class is designed to familiarize children ages 3-5 with an introduction to water skills. Children will orient to the aquatic environment, gain basic aquatic skills, and gain greater independence in their skills and develop more comfort in and around water. Preschool skills include getting wet, water entry/exit, blowing bubbles, submerging face, bobbing, exploring the pool, front and back floats, underwater exploration with eyes open, arm movement and kicking on front and back and rolling over.

    Red Cross Swim Lessons

    Level 1: Introduction to Water Skills

    Participants learn to: enter and exit water safely, blow bubbles, open eyes underwater, pick up submerged object, roll over independently, floating/gliding on front and back independently, swimming on front and back using arm and leg actions with support, recovering to a vertical position, and treading water with minimal support.

    Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills

    Participants build on everything in Level 1, plus: front, jellyfish, and tuck floats independently, change directions while swimming on front and back, tread water independently, combined arm and leg action independently and finning arm action independently.

    Level 3: Stroke Development

    Participants will build on skills in Level 2, plus: jump into deep water and return to side, bob to safety, rotary breathing 15 times, survival float for 30 seconds, back float for 30 seconds, tread water for 30 seconds, push off in a streamline and flutter kick for 3-5 body lengths, front crawl and elementary backstroke 15 yards, dive from kneeling position, rotary tread water 1 minute, flutter, scissor, dolphin and breaststroke kicks for 15 yards each.

    Level 4: Stroke Improvement

    Participants will complete everything in Level 3, plus: dive from a compact or stride position, swim underwater 5 body lengths, feet-first surface dive, perform open turns on front and back, tread water using two kicks for 2 minutes, and perform the following: front and back crawl (25 yards), breaststroke, butterfly, and elementary backstroke (15 yards).

    Level 5: Stroke Refinement

    Participants will complete everything in Level 4, plus: shallow angle dive-glide two body lengths and begin any front stroke, tuck and pike surface dives, flip turns, front and back crawl (50 yards), butterfly, breaststroke, elementary backstroke and sidestroke (25 yards) and sculling.

    Level 6: Swimming and Skill Proficiency

    Purpose: Refine strokes so students swim with ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over greater distances. Perform the front and back crawl (100 yds), perform the breaststroke, elementary backstroke, sidestroke and butterfly (50 yds.), demonstrate all turns for all strokes, surface dive and retrieve an object from bottom of pool, survival float, and survival swimming.

    Class Schedules

    Cascade Falls Aquatic Center Morning Lessons
       Pre-school  Level 1  Level 2  
     9-9:30 a.m.  x  x  x  
     9:35 - 10:05 a.m.  x  x  x  
     10:10 - 10:40 a.m.  x  x  x  
     10:45 - 11:15 a.m.  x  x  x  
       Level 3  Level 4  Level 5  Level 6
     9 -9:40 a.m.  x  x    x
     9:45 - 10:25 a.m.  x  x  x  
    10:35 - 11: 15 a.m.  x  


    Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center Morning Lessons
    Parent Child Pre-school Level 1  Level 2
    9-9:30 a.m.
    x x x
    9:35 - 10:05 a.m.
    x x x
    10:10 - 10:40 a.m. x x x x
    10:45 - 11:15 a.m. x x x x
    Level 3 Level 4  
    9 -9:40 a.m. x x
    9:45 - 10:25 a.m. x x
    10:35 - 11: 15 a.m. x


    Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center Evening Lessons
    Parent Child Pre-school Level 1 Level 2
    6:10 - 6:40 p.m. x x x x
    6:45 - 7:15 p.m. x x x x
    7:20 - 7:50 p.m.
    x x x
    7:55 - 8:25 p.m.
    x x x
    Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
    6:10 - 6:50 p.m. x x x
    6:55 - 7:35 p.m. x x x
    7:40 - 8:20 p.m. x x x





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