Red Lobster, Wicker Park’s Mirai Sushi, and Lincoln Park punk bar Delilah’s are three seemingly disparate venues. However, they have something in common—all three have hired graduates of American Professional Bartending Schools of Illinois to mix their drinks and man their bars. The schools have been landing graduates at notable Chicago establishments for more than 60 years, but their connection with alums doesn’t end with their first gig. Graduates receive lifetime, personalized job-placement assistance and can call the school’s career hotline 24 hours a day to find out about job openings or trade meatloaf recipes.
The schools' focus on employment also shows in their bartending classes, which are modeled after on-the-job training and led by teachers with an average of more than 20 years of industry experience. Taught at bars complete with realistic faux liquor, the sessions cover topics from mixology to presentation and etiquette.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. Afterschool or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students wow college-admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Cook County helps protect and advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children involved in court cases. Through its well-trained volunteer advocates, CASA ensures that each child's voice is present in court, with the hope of securing safe, permanent homes where children can grow and thrive. Each advocate champions one child, researching the case and providing valuable information to the court so judges can make the best decisions about the child's future. Advocates work with the child for as long as necessary, which can last from a few months to a few years, but is typically about a year. In the last year, CASA volunteer advocates invested 12,000 hours of advocacy to 483 children in Cook County.
The Riverside Theater Guild's cast of performers aged 8 to adult playfully recreates the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale in its production of Princess and The Pea. Audience members of all ages will hum along with Princess Mabel of Mudville as she sings, dances, and develops an unnerving obsession with legumes en route to the Kingdom of Snob Hill, where her prince awaits. Along with sparking smiles throughout the community, the Guild aims to instill storytelling skills in youngsters by casting local stars-in-training and holding theater camps during the summer.
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.
Hans Moscicke doesn’t just teach the drums; he practices what he preaches when playing with his band Milano, with whom he’s gigged such storied Chicago venues as Subterranean, Beat Kitchen, and Schubas. When he’s not bicycling or bird watching around his home base in Logan Square, he travels to neighborhoods to share his expertise with musicians of all ages and skill levels. Hans keeps lessons exciting with his collection of more than 1,000 pieces of sheet music from iconic bands such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Nirvana, allowing students to play along with their favorites and marvel at the secret coffee rings hidden within the pages. By practicing their most beloved songs as well as the lessons in their books, pupils become more engaged with the process and learn how to use their techniques in practical playing.
Despite a close encounter with a hammerhead shark, Learn Scuba Chicago's Captain Bob just keeps on scuba diving. The aquatic expert got an up-close peep of shark teeth on his very first Caribbean dive, yet has scarcely taken his flippers off since. Captain Bob leads diving courses, which range from thrilling dips for beginners to rescue-diver certifications. Students plunge into indoor pools at Water's Edge Aquatic Center in Bensenville, the UIC campus, and Northeastern Illinois University campus, with open water dives held at Kankakee's Haigh Quarry. Depending on the course, Learn Scuba Chicago lends or sells student equipment such as masks, fins, snorkels, and gills.