The last few months have been a challenge, and while this year has certainly been anything but normal, there’s one thing that will always remain the same: our commitment to helping all children be safer in and around the water.

As our schools start to reopen, and we look forward to brighter days ahead, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on one of the brightest spots of our year so far!

Kicking Off 2020 With a BIG Splash in Belize

Boy smiles over his shoulder while sitting by a lake with friends swimming

At Goldfish Swim School, our passion for teaching children how to swim goes beyond the progress that’s made in our pools.

There’s nothing that brings us more joy than sharing our love of swimming and water safety, while uniting communities and giving kids the platform to make waves in life. We want to lift them up, teach new skills, create memories, and inspire plenty of laughs and smiles along the way.

Earlier this year (for the seventh year in a row), one of our fintastic franchise owners brought a crew of Goldfish volunteers to a remote fishing village in Belize to do just that.

Here’s a look at some of the fond memories they made during their time there:

Diving in Heart First!

Man and child read a book together with smiles on their faces

In January, Alex Tyler (owner of Goldfish Swim School – St. Charles and Goldfish Swim School – Glen Ellyn) and 26 members of our Goldfish Family across the country embarked on an amazing adventure to Gales Point, Belize, where they gained just as much as they gave.

During their visit, Alex and his team of volunteers built a home and treatment facility for the village nurse, constructed a new play structure for the local elementary school and taught life-saving swim skills to more than 60 children.

While the daily lives of kids in Gales Point might look different than the lives of our Goldfish swimmers here in the states, the excitement on their faces as they jumped off the dock and splashed in the water were quite the same!

One of the best parts of teaching kids how to swim is helping them build confidence in their abilities, teaching them to believe in themselves and celebrating all the small wins that lead to extraordinary results along the way.

To us, there’s no greater feeling than watching a child build the courage to take their first independent swim strokes and having them look back at you beaming with pride and a huge smile on their face.

In addition to providing swim lessons and helping out in the community, Alex and his team raised $12,000 to support Belizean families. While a portion of the funds were used to build the new playground structure Alex and his team worked on, the remaining funds will go toward painting classrooms and help fund education, tutoring and activity programs at the school. The villagers will also be able to build a house for a single mother of four children with all the money raised!

What Started As a Ripple, Has Created a Wave

A group of men work on construction wearing Goldfish attire

Alex first went to Gales Point on a mission trip in 2014, and the former Northwestern University swimmer had such a powerful experience that he decided to make it an annual trip for his staff and other members of the Goldfish Swim School franchise network-proving that all it takes is one ripple to make a big wave.

Despite being a fishing village entirely surrounded by water, Alex was shocked to learn no one knew how to swim. Due to the risk of drowning, kids stayed away from the water. This compelled Alex to use his love of swimming to give the gift of water safety to children in the village and continues to be a large reason why the team looks forward to returning year after year.

They have such a golden experience every year that volunteer attendance for the mission has more than doubled – and continues to rise – with members of our team already counting down to #GoldfishBelize2021!

Other Ways #GoldfishGivesBack

A group of children smile and wave on a floating platform in the water

At Goldfish, we’re always in search of new ways to better not just the communities we serve, but every community-which is why we joined forces with the USA Swimming Foundation in 2018 to provide swim lessons and water safety education to underserved communities across the country.

We’ve committed to raising $1 million dollars to support the organization’s Make A Splash initiative, and are proud to say that our Float It Forward contributions have provided learn-to-swim opportunities to over 10,000 children who otherwise might not have had access to lessons.

Our individually owned and operated schools are also making a splash in their local communities by supporting frontline workers during the COVID pandemic, offering scholarship opportunities for young swimmers and providing free water safety education programs.

We’re incredibly proud of the positive impact our Goldfish team made during their 2020 trip to Belize! Their efforts have left a lasting, and meaningful, impact on the lives of locals in Gales Point-just as they do in all of their communities each and every day.

Join Us!

As we get ready to dive back into lessons with our Goldfish Family here at home, we look forward to pouring that same passion into creating a safe environment and Golden Experience where children are inspired to reach past their comfort zone, discover new possibilities and become safer, more confident swimmers.

Find a Goldfish Swim School location near you (we’re located all across the country!) and enroll your child in swim lessons today. Our confidence-building curriculum, tropical atmosphere and WOW! customer service are only some of the reasons parents and children love Goldfish Swim School.

Or, if you’re looking for an opportunity with a company that believes in doing the right things, making the right decisions, and treating people with integrity, compassion and trust, consider joining the Goldfish Family – as a team member, instructor, or even a franchise owner!