With a specialty in martial arts, the instructors at Bellevue School of Arts work closely with kids in pre-kindergarten through middle school to improve all aspects of their development. The after-school and summer programs give youth the opportunity to develop focus, self-esteem, and discipline during engaging activities. With more than 150 students currently enrolled, they offer a traditional, individualized and coordinated curriculum from grade to grade, with an emphasis on core subjects that range from piano lessons and fine arts to Chinese and tae kwon do. Tutoring services are also available to help kids with their homework during the school year and mischief lessons during the summer.
To get some fresh air, Bellevue residents could take a stroll around their neighborhood. Or they could head to one of the nearly 100 parks in the area for a game of baseball, a tennis match, or a lesson on botanicals. The extensive park system beckons locals to take advantage of the wide array of green spaces and activities in the area, many of which are free. It also holds regular events and leads programs that range from nature film viewings to crime prevention forums aimed at addressing delinquent squirrels.
Dizzy’s Tumblebuses both look like bright yellow school buses, yet they have never taken a kid to school. They don’t even have seats inside. Instead, their interiors are stocked with tumbling equipment, ball pits, and slides, and they make stops at schools, where they augment gym classes. These traveling fun-buses were invented by founder and mother of three, Dizzy, who has spent the last 10 years growing her company, trying to find parking spaces big enough for her buses, and testing out lesson plans with her own eager kids.
And in addition to the busses, Dizzy also created Dizzy’s Bus Stop, the company’s stationary facility. Despite its immobility, the facility hosts a bus structure inside that recreates the fun of the company’s popular Tumblebuses. Kids can clamber up a pint-size rock-climbing wall, jump on trampolines, and join in activities from dress-up to play dough sculpting. To accommodate a variety of little ones, the center offers drop-in day care, parent-supervised open play sessions, or preschool for tykes ages 2-5.
The stain busters at Ultra Custom Cleaners turn garments from dingy to dapper with safe and effective dry cleaning services. As caregivers for clothes, they also inspect all cleaning instructions closely and keep eyes open for loose buttons and trick bow ties.
When the staff at Corry's CO2 Dry Cleaners realized they were responsible for the disposal of 192 gallons of hazardous waste every year, they knew it was time for a change. They overhauled all of their equipment in order to provide an option that avoided using the traditional dry-cleaning chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer and eating socks. Instead, their cleaning method uses carbon dioxide and nontoxic soaps to flush stains from clothes, which is kinder to clothing fibers and leaves behind no chemical smell. This technique has earned them votes from readers of Mercer Island Reporter as the "best place to take your dry cleaning." for several years, most recently in 2013.
Aside from the greener cleaning technique, the staff maintains a tiny carbon footprint with other services and process. To conserve energy, they've retrofitted the lighting and pickup and deliver clothing free of charge, saving their customers money on gas. They recycle 24,000 hangers a year and fold clothing into reusable bags instead of disposable shirt boxes. They also love to educate not only their customers, but other dry cleaners about their eco-friendly ways.
Debbie Potts, the founder of Fitness Forward, brings more than two decades of experience to the task of helping patrons get in shape. Customized workout regimens help each individual achieve his or her personal fitness goals through a combination of personal training and group classes. Metabolic assessments allow clients to tailor their diet and exercise to their unique body type. And, to boot, Fitness Forward offers therapeutic massage that helps clients overcome injuries sustained while playing sports, exercising too rigorously, or giving a massage to a sprinting cheetah.