JACKSON TWP.  The recently opened Goldfish Swim School had a packed house at its grand opening celebration on Jan. 27. The new swimming school for kids ages four months to 12 years is at 7245 Whipple Ave. NW.

It is independently owned and part of a national chain which has locations in 26 states and Canada. The Jackson Township school is the 11th location in Ohio.

“Since we opened on Jan. 8th, we have 280 kids signed up for swim lessons,” said General Manager Vince O’Leary said. “We didn’t expect the turn out we got today for the grand opening, so we are hoping for 50 more signups from the event.”

Sunday’s event included a craft table, an open family swim, snacks, a food truck outside the building and Bubbles the giant goldfish mascot was welcoming visitors and taking photos.

The swim school offers different levels of swim lessons for the different age groups. O’Leary said the kids can start with them and then go onto high school competing or the local YMCA competing swim teams.

The curriculum is the same at each location and is a “proven, confidence-building curriculum” developed by a 17-time Collegiate All-American swimmer with a degree in early childhood development.

O’Leary said the goal is to teach kids the essential swim skills to keep them safer around the water. The swim school uses The Science of SwimPlay, which is a research-based philosophy that teaches through guided play in a fun, safe environment.

The swim school offers lessons, mini-prep which is a gentle introduction to the water, jump start clinics, family swim, and kids’ parties.

“Swim lessons are our main focus. We are not sessions based. Instead, we use a perpetual swim model where the parent selects the day and time for the lessons. They get assigned to that day and time and work with the same teacher every lesson. Families pay monthly and when they are is finished with the lessons, they just give us a 30-day notice,” O’Leary said.

The location is in the same plaza as Shale Brewing. O’Leary said the company that owns the Hudson location also owns the Jackson location. He said they had the four-foot deep indoor pool built starting mid-year 2018.

“The area was selected for the new school because it is a strong competitive swim area and we wanted to be a part of teaching kids in the community to swim,” O’Leary said.

The facility includes a climate-controlled viewing area, a 90-degree pool, private changing stations, the Blow Dry Bar with hair-drying stations, swim suite dryers and family-friendly changing stations. Plus, there is a fish tank filled with live fish for the kids to look at and enjoy. Class sizes are small with a maximum of four students per certified swim instructor.

For complete details, costs and other information, visit https://www.goldfishswimschool.com/north-canton/.