Each era has its own distinct style, whether it's the flapper fashions of the Roaring Twenties or the bell-bottomed disco inferno of the 1970s. Yet, as colorful, irreverent, and chest-hair friendly as certain fashions have been over time, they all originated from a humble needle and thread. "Sewing," as co-owner and co-founder of Esaie Couture Design School Wanda Bruno says, "is totally creative, but practical. It's one of those skills that you have for a lifetime."
Wanda's first foray into the fashion world was as a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she studied tailoring and menswear. The specificity and accuracy tailoring required established a firm foundation for her skills, which she used to land roles on design teams at Calvin Klein, Brooks Brothers, and Ralph Lauren, where she worked during the launch of Polo Sport in the early 1990s. No matter her place of employment, her style philosophy remained timeless: "Ill-fitting clothes throughout the ages will never look good. A good fit is tremendously important."
Wanda now shares her tailoring talents with the homemakers, hobbyists, and aspiring designers who populate her school. There, instructors reveal sewing basics during intensive single-day workshops and teach new skills. During long-term workshops ranging from four or six weeks to three or six months, students build skills that help them construct career paths in the fashion industry or to start their own businesses.
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.
The Brooklyn School of Real Estate helps ambitious brokers-to-be achieve their professional goals with flexibly scheduled classes on all aspects of real estate and property insurance. The real-estate salesperson course works toward the initial license, whereas working professionals keep up their credentials by enrolling in continuing-education courses on more advanced topics such as selling houses that are very, very big. The school’s programs focus not just on complex legal and financing issues but also on working carefully with buyers and sellers to make sure that they feel well-informed and supported at every step of the process.
At more than 900 learning centers across the world, Sylvan Learning offers kids a leg up through personalized programs prescribed by an in-depth skills assessment. Students build on past lessons to learn progressively, and sessions may hone in on different disciplines, granting kids the confidence to interpret literature and the rhetorical skills needed to negotiate a later bedtime. The positive mindset of personable, invested instructors helps to inspire kids to greater academic feats, as does a prize program that rewards hard work with CDs and gift cards.
ALOHA (Abacus Learning of Higher Arithmetic) is a mathematics tutoring program that was originally developed for Malaysian children. Small group classes meet after school for step-by-step instruction from a qualified teacher or sentient abacus. The program has more than 3,000 centers in countries such as India, Thailand, Philippines, China, Australia, New Zealand, Oman, and UAE, and it was introduced to the United States in 2006. It also offers tutoring in reading and writing.