WYCKOFF, N.J. — Glen Rock's Jennifer Casper took her aquatic experiences and turned it into a new business by opening Goldfish Swim School in Wyckoff.
Casper, a mother of four, said she saw a need for the new swim school.
"There's not enough swimming pools in the Bergen County area," she said. "It's [basically] a necessity to learn to swim."
Casper swam while in high school and went through teaching her own kids how. When she saw how hard it was for her children to learn without consistent lessons, she set out to create a space where students could become comfortable with the water quicker.
Casper's relatives also own their own swim schools in Chicago and Pennsylvania, giving her some more insight into the business.
The Franklin Avenue school held its first open house and swim meet Jan. 27 to help introduce themselves to the community.
The owner said she tried to create a comfortable atmosphere for families. In addition to the pool area kept at 90 degrees, Goldfish has toys and snacks available.
Casper said she enjoys working with the kids, even the more challenging ones.
"You see them and they're afraid to get in the water, afraid to get their face wet," she said. "Then with the consistency of coming every week, to see the changes is almost a miracle."
Some of the basic lessons could help save a life too, Casper said. One of the first instincts the instructors teach against is where to go if a kid falls in the water.
Casper said their first thought is usually to go straight ahead, but they teach kids to look all around them to make sure there isn't a closer way out of the water first.
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