Though many students come to Mathnasium having fallen behind their classmates, a mathematically advanced child sparked the learning program’s creation. As founder Larry Martinek’s young son, Nic, developed an appetite for higher-level math concepts, Larry found himself developing an entirely new teaching language to explain them in an age-appropriate way. The kind of instincts he sought to build up couldn’t be nurtured by drills and rote memorization. Instead, they required a deeper understanding of the principles at the root of mathematical operations, delivered in a way that grade-school kids could apply throughout their academic careers.
In just a decade’s time, Larry and his team have established Mathnasium centers in most U.S. states and more than a dozen in other countries. At each, highly trained tutors develop custom learning plans for students in grades K–12 based on The Mathnasium Method. The system combines an education strategy of conceptual, tactile, and visual techniques with a curriculum structure that ensures kids can count, think proportionally, and break complex problems into smaller components to solve simply. Tutors allow some time during each session to help students with the concepts in their math homework, and the centers regularly check report cards and standardized tests as further measures of progress.
Douglas Animal Hospital's staff is small, but their hearts are big. They take special care of all animals, whether furry, feathered, or scaled with a range of services ranging from annual vaccinations to veterinary acupuncture. What's more, general wellness appointments are made easier thanks to a slew of on-site conveniences. Digital x-rays provide immediate viewing of images, and an in-house pharmacy and lab mean that owners won't have to leave to get their pets' medications or test results.
The chefs at Hot Wok Delivery stir-fry Chinese and Cambodian dishes before whisking them to diners' tables or homes. During lunch and dinner rushes, they man flaming stovetops, sautéing chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, and vegetables to thread into noodle entrees and combination plates. Before meals fly from the kitchen, the chefs finish them with a quick splash of sauce, adding either sweet or savory notes or imbuing them with a fiery sauce spicier than a jalapeño's memoirs.
Although the red-walled dining room includes three booths at which customers can sit, the staff also delivers orders, shuttling food to family dinners or lengthy daguerreotype posing sessions.
It may seem like a bold claim, but the skilled staffers of Storchak Cleaners are fairly confident they can clean any item of clothing. Armed with quality cleaning solutions, the expert dry-cleaners gussy up thick wool sweaters, fuzzy fur coats, and glamorous silk kimonos, taking extra care to spot-clean stubborn stains. They also clean and restore elegant wedding dresses before placing them in special acid-free boxes for safekeeping. The versatile cleaners even take on stuffed animals, carefully deep-cleaning the fluffy toys.
In addition to dry-cleaning, the professionals extend their expertise towards laundry, alterations, and shoe-repair services. They offer pickup and delivery, happily trucking loads of clothes to and from homes, offices, or underground cave fortresses of crime-fighting.
Ever since graduating from the massage therapy program at the Minnesota School of Business, Sherri Anderson has used her kneading know-how to relax countless achy muscles. Versed in myriad modalities, including Swedish, sports, and hot-stone massage, the certified massage therapist incorporates whatever techniques best treat each client's needs. Besides decreasing soreness, her massages help lower blood pressure, increase posture, and improve range of motion more effectively than transplanting your brain into Stretch Armstrong. Sherri works as part of The Circle of Healing Arts Co-op, a wellness cooperative whose other services run the gamut from life coaching to reiki.
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.