Literacy Advance provides free classes that teach adults in the Houston area English as a second language. In 2010, Literacy Advance developed stronger literacy skills for 3,416 people and trained more than 360 new tutors. Volunteer tutors teach five students in each class how to read English with the use of picture dictionaries and textbooks, focusing on the skills necessary for gaining employment, utilizing health-care access, earning an education, finding housing, and navigating street maps. Literacy Advance provides training, books, and supplies for students in its ESL classes, but more than 350 people are currently on the waiting list to attend, stretching the organization's budget.
It's hard to pigeon-hole the cuisine of Texas into just one style of food. The large state is home to people from a wide range of cultures, and its cuisine reflects these Mexican, German, Creole, African, and Native American influences. In order to show off the true flavors of Texas, Texas Mesquite Grill's owner, Austin Yates, opted to serve everything from rib eyes hot off the mesquite grill to sizzling enchiladas to chicken-fried steak.
Whether it's a Texas quail kissed with a chipotle glaze or fish tacos flecked with a creole sauce, no dish truly evokes the flavors of Texas until it's paired with a beer, so Texas Mesquite Grill serves up 21 different beers on draft. The bartenders even make a version of their classic margarita with a splash of Corona, creating a beachy drink that's more refreshing than a tall glass of water with salt poured into it.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
Pump It Up specializes in indoor, inflatable arenas for children. During three fun-filled pop-in visits, children can leap around gargantuan air-filled bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an air-filled obstacle course. Pump It Up’s giant indoor air arenas are climate-controlled and maintained according to rigorous guidelines enforced by a well-trained staff and local police. Parents bounce for free during pop-in, so childless adults who want to play will need to borrow a neighbor’s kid or win one by collecting soda tops.