Learning to Splash: Swim School Now Open in Turnersville

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TURNERSVILLE, N.J. -

The thermometer may still be reading chilly temperatures, but eventually we’ll get some warm summery weather ... and with that come days spent at the pool and beach.

And a new Gloucester County business is opening up shop just in time to get you and your little ones ready for a season in the sun.

“Drowning is actually the leading cause of death among children who are under the age of five," said Kiersten Schwendeman, northern district regional manager for Kids First Swim Schools. "So, it is absolutely the most important life skill that we can teach."

The Kids First/Kicks First Learn to Swim curriculum is actually trademarked through the Library of Congress, so it can’t be taught anywhere else.

Thanks to the Kids First Swim Schools opening up in Turnersville this week, South Jersey kids will have a place to (learn how to) make a splash.

“We sign you up for six weeks, that’s it," said Schwendeman. "Classes are typically once a week for 30 minutes. [At] certain times a year, we’ll also offer twice a week if you want to accelerate the child’s progress.”

The Maryland-based company was founded by a Rowan University graduate back in 2001. Now the company has 35 locations, including two in South Jersey.

“The pool goes from two-feet to about four-foot-nine inches so everyone is able to stand during class. The pool is made for teaching," said Natalie Basurto, manager at the Kids First Swim Schools' Turnersville location. "It’s always 90 degrees, so it’s always a comfortable environment for everyone to come in.” 

But it’s the approach the school takes that separates them from other classes.

“The Kids First/Kicks First Learn to Swim curriculum is actually trademarked through the Library of Congress, so it can’t be taught anywhere else,” said Schwendeman.

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They start by teaching kids how to put their face under the water, then they move on to floating and kicks.

Swimmers can start classes as young as three months old and they believe no one is too old to learn.

“We want every child [and] person to be successful at learning how to swim ... so any age, any ability we can teach you,” said Schwendeman.

Turnersville’s Kids First Swim Schools is officially open for business, but they plan on having a big grand opening celebration in May.

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