We opened with 400 and it’s been growing. Why is this? Word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising. Thanks to the great job our swim school Team Members are doing with our customers, they are telling their friends! I met a customer that drove all the way from the Bronx. “Why?” I asked. She said she loves supporting the charity and supporting free lessons for other kids.
A man came in the swim school with his daughter and had his appointment date mixed up. He was standing in front of Miryam on the wrong day and the wrong time. He even said, “I messed up!” But Miryam slipped his daughter in for her first lesson. She did it with a smile. I just saw the guy in the school on Saturday and he was back! That’s how you build a business and make customers happy!
Here are a few comments off the internet. We are getting a few complaints too but we’re correcting them when possible. A big thanks to Westport Moms and Norwalk Moms. Lots of customers said they heard about the school on those sites.
Maggie M. - My daughter had her first swim class the other day and we had the best experience. Stew Leonard welcomed us himself upon arrival and we were greeted by the warm and enthusiastic staff. My daughter's swim instructor was patient and caring, explaining everything through each step of the class. The Leonard family has done an incredible job of turning their hardship into an opportunity for joy and swim safety for families like mine.
Christine F. - Such an amazing experience. My son is 20 months old and enjoys swim class and the instructors. The school is beautiful and clean and there are so many fun details put into the programs. Emphasis on safety is so great. I’d highly recommend it for kids of all ages.
James P. - My one-year-old started swim lessons with Stewie the Duck Swim School a few weeks back and is loving every second. Ms. Debbie is a fantastic instructor and spends quality time with both the student and the parent going through each of the exercises. The Leonard's should be proud of what they have created and the number of lives they will impact through this school!
He just wrote. Look what he had to say about our program: “Stew and I share a common belief that teaching children how to float on their back is the #1 way to help prevent accidental drownings. I am thrilled for the Leonard Family on the opening of the Stewie the Duck Swim School and look forward to partnering with them on this incredible endeavor that has the potential to save thousands of lives.”
We decided to be open 7 days from 9-7 p.m. (except Sunday). We wanted to see when our customers wanted to book their lessons. We can see that the weekdays are slow in the afternoon. We may want to close for a few hours during that time. We’re still learning. The goal is to adjust the right number of staff to the right number of customers. That’s the way we are going to provide the income to give away free lessons!
We were able to generate enough income to award a $5,000 grant to Horizons at Greens Farms Academy summer program in Westport, CT. This funding will help support free swim lessons twice a week over six weeks for 178 Pre-K to 8th grade children. That’s 2,136 individual swim lessons! Students are from low-income families in Bridgeport, CT, who attend underserved public schools. Most children attending this program have no experience in the water. This funding will help them learn potentially life-saving water skills and a love for swimming. We can’t wait to help more organizations like this!
The New York Times just had a great article on children’s drowning titled “Drowning is No. 1 Killer of Young Children. U.S. efforts to Fix It Are Lagging” by Emily Baumgaertner on July 7th. It points out how “drowning deaths have risen by 16.8% in 2020 alone.” Children of color are disproportionately affected, with lack of access to swimming lessons as a large contributor. Last week, the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan was launched to help address this crisis. We’re on the right track with Stewie the Duck.
Debby, Alejandro, Sara, Grace, Nerayah, Cameron, Jocelyn, Bryan, Paige, Izzy, Nashey, and Kate are some of our most requested instructors, but the entire team has been doing a great job, including the outstanding front desk team. They have been rocking the enrollments and offering tremendous customer service! We’ve been open for just over a month and we are starting to move kids up to new levels as they progress.