Walking through the shiny red doors of Woolworks, knitters are welcomed by wall-to-wall shelves packed full of yarn in all colors and gauges of the rainbow. More than 50 brands of yarn flaunt their fibers within the cozy confines of the store, such as the silky Road to China, a combination of alpaca, cashmere, camel, and silk wrapped together in seven rich colors ($15.25/skein), or the Savannah, a lighter yarn with lighter chromatics that combines wool, cotton, linen, and soya with a traditional array of Georgian table manners ($15.25/skein). To start out, refine practiced techniques, or add artifacts to a basement knitting museum, wool-weavers can also purchase instructional books, creative patterns, or all-inclusive kits.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
Certified maintenance consultant Brian Laidlaw has been caring for foreign, domestic, and classic cars for more than 25 years. Stationed in the Hampden-Woodbury area for most of that time, Brian takes pride in offering only what a small, local business can: one-on-one attention, and loads of information. To keep rapport with his customers at its highest level, Brian and his staff snap before and after pictures on all of their automotive repairs. They also provide free towing and road service, which is far more effective than coaxing cars to the shop with trails of cookies. While customers wait for repairs to be completed, they have all the accoutrements of a coffee house at their disposal, including a grinder, brew stations, and a variety of different coffees and teas.
SIGNING Basics' instructors help their students learn to speak without uttering a word. Through private lessons and group classes, they teach American Sign Language to students of all ages and backgrounds. Introductory lessons lead students through the basics of the sign-language alphabet and movements. Advanced classes show students how to carry conversations, enabling them to communicate effectively or correct baseball coaches' faulty ?charge the mound? gestures. Instructors also offer workshops that impart basic techniques for businesses and groups.
Every September since 1981, Johns Hopkins University's students, faculty, alumni, and community members vie for a spot in the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra. Each season results in a 150-person group that performs high-quality, low-cost symphonic and chamber concerts throughout the school year.
Under Music Director Jed Gaylin, who has held the position since 1994, the orchestra plays everything from world premieres of contemporary pieces to beloved classics. Each concert even spotlights rousing solos from exceptionally talented players, including luminaries of the classical world like Brian Ganz and Hilary Hahn. Outside of concerts, the HSO drums up passion for classical music with programs such as instrument mentoring in public schools and free kids' concerts.