Pasadena Unified School District is proud to partner with RBAC to provide ALL PUSD 3rd grade students with water safety and learn-to-swim lessons, at no cost.

PUSD Programs

For 26 years, the RBAC has provided hundreds of third-grade students from the Pasadena Unified School District with swim, dive and water polo lessons. Many students have little to no previous aquatic experience. Drowning can be prevented with proper swim instruction and we provide this opportunity to every student in Pasadena regardless of socioeconomic status to help ensure every member of our community is water safe.

3rd Grade
3rd Grade

Learn to Swim Every year, the RBAC has provided hundreds of at-risk third-grade students from the Pasadena Unified School District with swim, dive and water polo lessons.

The students attend 15 lessons and receive swim suits, water safety workbooks, and daily towel service. The program includes free family swim passes so that parents, siblings and members of extended families may participate. Most students improve one to two levels and many return to the Center to continue in more advanced classes or participate on the competitive teams.

The lessons develop athletic skills for a lifetime of healthy recreation as well as safety around pools and beaches. This program is essential because nearly 4,000 Americans drown every year. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death in children from ages one to 14, killing almost three children a day in the U.S.

We have roughly 1450 students participate in the program annually from 18 elementary schools plus 1 group home. The schools are Altadena, Cleveland, Norma Coombs, Don Benito, Field, Franklin, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Longfellow, Madison, Mckinley, Roosevelt, San Rafael, Sierra Madre, Washington, Webster, Willard, and Hillsides. In sum, classroom teachers report that program benefits extend well beyond the pool deck. During the swim programs, attendance and student academic performance is up while tardies and classroom disruptions are down. The program is made possible by support from the LA84 Foundation, Community Development Block Grant, Pasadena Educational Foundation and the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center Scholarship Fund.


Registration takes place through PUSD
6th Grade
6th Grade

In 2017, a 25 day aquatics pilot program was offered to students from Washington STEAM Magnet. 6th grade students participated in competitive swimming, competitive diving, water polo, and lifeguard training. The goal of the pilot program was to introduce these students to a sport that they could participate in whether it be on a club team, high school, or college.


Who are the instructors? 

We pride ourselves on employing instructors that are passionate about the water and passionate about the importance of learning how to swim. Our staff is malleable. We will do everything in our power to help you or your loved ones learn how to swim and enjoy the water.

We require all of our instructors to be CPR and First Aid certified, with a majority that are Water Safety Instructor certified as well. Our methods of teaching allow our patrons to learn at a pace that they feel comfortable with.

Our instructors are knowledgeable, provide positive reinforcement, and give clear and precise instructions to create the perfect blend to learn how to swim. Our staff is aware that learning how to swim can be a fearful process, and we find it very rewarding to support the children every step of the way.

How is the program funded? 

Our program is made possible by several grants that we have to apply for each year. We also have very generous donors. The Rose Bowl Aquatics Center takes on all additional costs each year as a way of giving back to our community.

How can I donate to the program? 

Please visit our support the RBAC page to make a donation or contact Mary Pinola at mpinola@rosebowlaquatics.org

Are kids water safe after 15 lessons? 

We do see vast improvement in the children’s swimming abilities over the 15 lessons. On the first day, many are unable to submerge their face under the water. By day 15, all are able to not only submerge their face but swim with a basic paddle stroke. Advanced students are taught true strokes and even participate in dive lessons.

Who is the program for?

We provide 15 free swim lessons to all third graders attending Pasadena Unified School District each year.


We'd love to hear from you!

Contact Mary Pinola