Learning through playing. That's one of the many techniques swim instructor JoAnn Kjome uses when working with her youngest swimmers.
Two of her students are six-year-old Luke and four-year-old Cale.
"She's really fun and teaches us," said the boys.
JoAnn Kjome started working at the Decorah swimming pool almost 60 years ago. She's been teaching lessons for about 55 years, and it's lessons she took as a child that made her want to teach others.
"After senior life saving, decided I want to work at a pool, too," she said.
Almost six decades later, Kjome is still in the water.
"It's fun to me. The children excite me to keep wanting to do it," said JoAnn Kjome.
She's taught at least three generations of swimmers, with no plans to quit anytime soon.
"The challenge the classes and the students present. Trying to see if I can't be the one to teach a child to do a breast stroke or if I can't be the one to get that child to put his or her face in the water," said Kjome.
Besides these private swimming lessons, JoAnn Kjome also teaches group lessons, she trains water safety instructors and she certifies and re-certifies area lifeguards.
"I know my guards are well-trained. They love working with her. They love teaching with her. She brings us treats. She's so friendly and welcoming to everybody," said Decorah Pool Manager Kerry Johnson.
Kerry Johnson said having someone with so much water experience on-site is a huge asset to the Decorah swimming pool.
"She's very dedicated. Everyone appreciates her," said Johnson.
JoAnn Kjome thinks it's important for everyone to learn how to swim. She hopes Luke and Cale stick with it even after these beginning classes.
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