Books Through Bars, Inc. provides free reading materials for prisoners across the country. Every month, it receives more than 120 letters from prisoners requesting books. The organization responds by sending donated volumes from individuals, libraries, and community organizations, making selections based on the stated preferences of the inmate. Reading the books provides a productive activity for the inmates and can help them develop politically, spiritually, and academically during their time in prison.
Jump Trax's menagerie of inflatables plays host to kids of all ages for parties and open-play sessions. Sock-footed youngsters can explore two climate-controlled arenas filled with bounceable attractions, such as Spongebob’s pineapple house and a prehistoric obstacle course overseen by a tyrannosaurus rex. Other activities abound, such as tyke-sized push cars, a slide shaped like the Batmobile, or an inflatable Scooby Doo Mystery Machine. To prevent the inflatables from becoming vitamin D deficient, Jump Trax's location is used for block parties, barbecues, and birthday parties. Their menu consists of pizza and sodas, as well as goodie bags. Check out their FAQ for more info.
At Little Folks School, learning happens all the time, falling into one of two categories: structured or organic. Preschoolers (between ages 3 and 4) and pre-kindergarteners (between ages 4 and 5) spend their mornings immersed in storytelling, playtime, and learning basic reading and writing, which naturally fosters social learning. They'll form new friendships and work to solve conflicts with peers in a way that will augment their new academic skills once they start kindergarten.
After putting their heads together back in 2005, sisters Lynn Grissom and Susan Bucci came to open the first Little Gym in Rhode Island. The concept was simple: positively impact kids by helping build confidence and self-esteem through noncompetitive, fun classes. The result was a curriculum-based program that got kids aged 4 months to 12 years active during karate classes, jazz dancing, and karate chopping stacks of boring homework in half. At the Smithfield location, instructors focus on "movement, music, learning, and laughter," during courses held six days a week.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get in Shape for Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. Each of their small-group sessions are tailored to each exerciser. The trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating 30 minutes of strength-training drills—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each student's abilities. Then, they do 25 minutes of cardio—the trainers might start beginners with a walk on the treadmill or light elliptical training, and challenge more advanced exercisers to high-intensity interval-training sessions for increased results.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To track ladies' progress toward reaching their goals, the trainers measure their weight and body-fat percentage every two weeks.
The fashion-savvy stylists at Frenzy Boutique rotate garment racks with the latest looks for women and girls by Soul Revival, Level 99, Ankh, and other high-profile designers. Off-the-shoulder shirts by Vain reveal the skin's funkier flairs ($62); pairs of wedge gladiator sandals by Sergio Zelce embellish feet in black-and-brown hues and act as a backup weapon in the event of sword failure ($58). Royal Plush jeans shower lucky legs with snug streaks of attention ($79–$225), pairing primly with T-shirts designed by Inappropriate ($62) and accompanying handbags ($75). As patrons peruse Frenzy's clothing, they can discuss fashion trends or the benefits of bathing in dust with the in-store mascot, a chinchilla named Toby.
Bar 101's amiable atmosphere plays host to an expansive menu of burgers, pizzas, and bar delicacies that set the stage for weekly events. Rich layers of crumbled bleu cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing smother the pepper-encrusted black and bleu burger ($8), while the thai crunch salad chauffeurs bites of grilled chicken, mixed greens, chow mein, wasabi peas, and rice wine peanut vinaigrette ($8) safely to hungering mouths. As the night stretches on toward a 1 a.m. closing time, grilled pizzas ($7–$8) such as the loaded potato, topped with bacon, potatoes, monterey jack, and garlic oil, accompany a hearty list of martinis and wines set to grease tall tales of champion fish and game-show-winning sharks.