SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Even though it’s still winter in KELOLAND, some are prepping for the summer weather by learning how to swim.

5-year-old Lola and 2-year-old Maya Johnson are gearing up for the summer season.
Their mom, Lea Johnson says swimming lessons are a must before pool season arrives.

“Our family loves to be outside. We love to travel and I feel like a lot of travel and outside activities involve water. So really, I just want my kids to be safe and I also want them to have fun and enjoy the water,” Lea Johnson said.

Lea says her daughter Lola has been enrolled at SafeSplash Swim School since before the pandemic hit.

When it did, the school had to close temporarily.

“It’s been a real rollercoaster of a year. You know we had the big shutdown, and then we had to start back up again,” Dan Sobocinski said.

Starting back up meant taking every step possible to keep staff and swimmers safe.

Mask wearing, temperature checks and social distancing are some of the precautions being taken to allow swimmers to keep learning.

“We have our lobby set up in a way to keep people socially distanced as best as possible. We’ve got a real good process for getting kids in the pool and out of the pool in a real organized manner to help again in social distancing,” Sobocinski said.

Instructors can even be seen wearing a face shield in the water as another safety measure.
Lea says those precautions make her feel safe bringing her family to the swim school, especially during a time when activities are limited.

“I feel like there’s very few activities we can do with our kids right now that are safe, and this is one of them. I always feel safe when my kids are here, I feel safe sitting in the waiting area watching them and I just think that’s so important right now,” Johnson said.

The effort being put in to keep people safe isn’t going unnoticed. Sobocinski says attendance is up, and that means more kids staying safe in the water.

“Just because we’re in a pandemic, it has not diminished the need for children to still take part in swimming lessons. Kids are always going to find water and they’re always going to need to learn how to swim, regardless of what’s going on in the pandemic and it’s an extremely important life skill that we have to provide for our kids,” Sobocinski said.

Sobocinski says now is a great time to enroll your child if you haven’t already, as the swimming lesson season is ramping up.