In the late 1970s career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York and New Jersey.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs, and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
From the passenger seats of two 2012 Toyota Corollas, Access2Drive Driving School's English- and Spanish-speaking instructors dispense valuable advice about every aspect of four-wheeled transportation. During hands-on lessons, students of all ages take the wheel to practice parallel parking and find a parking space that's not in the middle of a monster-truck arena. Students satisfy the state's pre-licensing mandate with five-hour courses that span topics such as driving within the transportation system and developing appropriate habits and skills. Those who enroll in the school's defensive-driving course get 10% off on any insurance purchased in New York for a period of three years.
The caring coaches at CATS combine game play, exercise, and team building to foster kiddies' forays into the sporting life. Basic athletic classes cross-train tots (ages 1–4) in the rudiments of basketball, tennis, soccer, golf, and other classic sphere-centric pursuits. Sports-development courses ready older rug rats (ages prekindergarten–10) for competitive athletics by focusing on strategy, physical conditioning, and agility. Each new registration comes with a CATS T-shirt and a washable sense of self-confidence. Look here for the spring class schedule, here for the summer schedule and upcoming events, or at the nearest shiny surface to check for lodged poppy seeds.
Ken Benshish and Yi Qian both grew up loving music, but the process of learning to play it ranged from uninspiring to mind numbing. The two musicians started iSchool of Music & Art to provide a much different experience—a positive, supportive atmosphere that takes into account each student’s personality and goals. Students aged 3 and older who can’t tell a drumstick from a plectrum and don’t even know the street value of a quarter note can learn piano, drums, guitar, or voice skills from scratch, then test their newfound skills with multiple performance opportunities throughout the year. Instructors host private classes or group students into their own rock-band performance troupes, while intensive camps culminate in field trips to Lincoln Center and tour of a real recording studio.
Situated on Molloy College's campus, the 550-seat Madison Theatre welcomes a diverse lineup of entertainment to its stage in 2012, from music education and string quartets to cabaret acts and plays. The Teaching Artists Ensemble of the New York Philharmonic draws kids into an afternoon of interactive music-making with fun woodwind and percussion instruments during Kaleidoscope. Earlier in the month, John Pizzarelli weaves his crooning pipes with the crystalline vocals of his wife, Broadway songstress Jessica Molaskey, all while trading jazz guitar licks with his father, the renowned jazz ax man Bucky Pizzarelli. As the John Pizzarelli Trio, they nourish ears like a turducken of sound during a set of original compositions and bebop-infused standards from the Great American Songbook. At the end of April, ETHEL skewers the audience's perception of the classic string quartet through rapid improvisation and unorthodox amplification of their instruments, a practice they've employed while recording with rock greats such as Todd Rundgren and David Byrne.
The more than a dozen brick-and-mortar locations that make up Ultimate Champions Taekwondo Association share not only a style of combat, but a teaching philosophy as well. Tracing the lineage of their combative art back to Grandmaster Sang K. Oh, the instructors adhere to his teachings, exemplified by the quote, "The person who can defeat others with flashy techniques but is without love toward his fellow man will in the end defeat himself." Students use the physical empowerment of mastering jumps, kicks, and weapons to arm themselves with discipline, confidence, concentration, self-respect, and courtesy for others.
Outside of the classroom, the organization reaches out to the tri-state community with ample demonstrations of some of their most exciting techniques. Practitioners soar skyward in flying kicks or fill the air with the whirring blows of nunchakus, bos, and kamas. Fists slam through boards, balloons, and bricks to demonstrate the striking power of tae kwon do and the structural flaws in the Three Little Pigs' panic room.