Amid the school system's flurry of standardized benchmarks and test scores, it can be easy to forget that an education’s mission extends far beyond Scantrons and multiple-choice questions. Milestone Institute’s state-certified educators have this mission in mind every time they welcome a new student for tutoring. After a diagnostic test assesses each student's capabilities, educators craft a customized tutoring plan focused on coursework that's neither too easy nor too difficult. Students also receive focused attention in each intimate group session, learning about reading and writing and using that knowledge to understand why they should never say "'rithmetic.” Interim reports help instructors, parents, and students keep an eye on progress, highlighting achievements and identifying which academic areas still need work.
Argentina?born soccer enthusiast Gustavo Szulansky opened Super Soccer Stars to provide the boroughs with a program that championed the personal development of youngsters rather than solely a skill-based focus. Since its debut in 2000, it's grown throughout the city, helping countless youngsters learn teamwork, boost confidence, and decrease arguments during home games played on the dining-room table. This rapid growth is due in part to the positive values Gustavo instilled from the first class. His coaches are carefully selected for their ability to cultivate a noncompetitive, sensitive approach to learning the game, and they dole out their knowledge in both classes and camps.
Super Soccer Star's Kick & Play program features family-friendly classes that help tots 12?24 months old develop pre-soccer skills and physical skill sets simultaneously. During classes, a team of talented and enthusiastic instructors and an athletic duo of puppet friends named Mimi and Pepe buoy budding soccer players with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and the merry clickety-clack of cleated tap dances. Designed with the help of early-childhood specialists, each age-specific class helps players build skills at their own pace with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and engaging original music.
When Blake Eastman meets strangers, plays poker, sits in on corporate negotiations as a consultant, or turns on the TV and watches politicians speak, he analyzes dozens of nonverbal clues and subtle behaviors that betray an individual's true feelings and intentions. "I've always been a natural at it," he says. "It's part of who I am." But through his education and independent research he’s gotten better and can now pinpoint every indicator that shows a person is hiding their emotions––from their microexpressions to their wooden nose growing 2 inches.
During interactive group classes Blake outfits his students' observational tool belts with the knowledge to read body language or improve their dating lives. Classes engage with multiple activities that range from video analysis to role-playing. As images of apologetic celebrities and athletes flash across the screen, Blake pinpoints telltale microexpressions that crawl across each person's face. In the game "two truths and a lie," students take turns trying to deceive each other as the class hunts for the lie and its tells. The skills in each class lay a foundation for what Blake calls a lifelong effort to learn what someone is truly thinking or feeling.
Within the multihued walls of Kidville’s indoor playland, tykes expand their minds, network with members of their peer group, and deplete their vast energy reserves. Babies, toddlers, and kids 6 or younger delve into classes developed by Kidville’s early-childhood-development gurus. Burgeoning Beethovens can swivel their hips, flex their sing-along muscles, and edit their massive music manuscripts during one of Kidville’s music and dance classes, or enlist in one of the art classes to create a piece that captures their inner rage toward broccoli. Fun and fit gym classes let tots run, roll, and hover through gauntlets of plush blocks and spongy play mats. Clasping hands and scampering legs can also roam freely through Kidville’s sprightly indoor playspace, though all munchkins must be supervised by a parent, guardian, or trustworthy primate.
Serving as a New York epicenter of holistic thought, the nonprofit educational and cultural center hosts more than 500 programs per year, taught by renowned teachers such as Deepak Chopra. In-person programs cover topics ranging from wellness and psychology to the interplay between ecology and culture, and the center’s online courses teach students how to incorporate feng shui into an urban lifestyle or tie-dye their auras to match their favorite sweaters. Students anywhere in the world can participate in streaming webinars, which pair interactive instruction with live question-and-answer sessions. One-hour wellness sessions vanquish physical and spiritual pains with a choice of 15 healing modalities, and an onsite bookstore expands visitors' horizons with world music, educational DVDs, and a secret passage to a cavernous vault filled with globes.
The instructors at School of Cards aren’t content only to use their card knowledge in the classroom; when they’re not teaching, they’re competing in high-stakes cash games and tournaments, including World Series of Poker events. Although their training grounds resemble a cozy living room complete with a plush, microfiber couch, the school’s professional poker and blackjack tables demonstrate its intent to make students comfortable in the casino environment. Beginning blackjack and poker players can get their start in three-hour introductory classes, learning such fundamentals as game etiquette, card counting, and how to spot edible chips. Intermediate and advanced players move on to more in-depth courses, as well as services such as game and body-language evaluation.