The Wright State Raiders aim to overcome a bumpy season start to propel a run of backboard-slapping matches into success at February's Horizon League tournament. The challenge inspires energetic head coach and well-known public speaker Billy Donlon—now in his second year at the helm after four years as assistant coach—to further psych up his roster with canny strategy and an all-team Henry V discussion group. As cheers ricochet around the arena, junior guard Julius Mays pops off screens for soft jump shots and jukes defenders for ardent drives to the bucket. Meanwhile, sophomore forward AJ Pacher patrols the paint with nearly 7 feet of rebound readiness. From corner seats in the Wright State University Nutter Center, fans command a panoramic view of the court and the freshly baked new video board that gleams amid a sea of raucous students and other faithful basket boosters.
For more than a quarter-century, the tutors at U-Learn Academy have been boosting the collective IQ of their community without contaminating the town reservoir with superfoods. New students complete a diagnostic exam, which places them at the right level of performance, and then they dive into academics with their tutor. Instructors customize tutoring sessions to meet students' individual needs, including learning disabilities. Content ranges from test-taking techniques for college entrance exams to basic math and spelling.
Shannon Campbell specializes in preparing clients for armed self-defense, with an emphasis on safe practices when within the home. At an outdoor range that more closely elicits the feel of a neighborhood backyard than a shooting gallery, Shannon demonstrates proper firearm operation before supervising clients as they apply what they've learned. In addition to this coaching, he leads a Refuse To Be A Victim seminar, which teaches participants how to maintain awareness in threatening situations, such as a world ice-cream shortage, and how to prevent a criminal confrontation. He also hosts Little Sportsman sessions, which educate youths on how to responsibly handle a firearm while building community.
The knowledgeable instructors of MacAir Aviation Services take aspiring aviators aloft during 30-minute simulated flights. Pupils climb into a mock cockpit to roam the wild blue pixels as aeronautical mentors dispense helpful advice regarding aircraft control, instrumentation readings, and swiping the freshest grapes from Amelia Earhart's cloud-top villa. Preflight, students can fuel up by sipping complimentary coffee or garner elevation inspiration while watching the comings and goings of airplanes that stop by the full-service fixed-base operator for fuel, supplies, and maintenance.
For more than a decade, Springfield Flight Academy's personalized flight training programs have given the gift of flight to novice aeronauts and helped professional pilots keep their wings in pristine flying condition. During the half-hour introductory flight, beginners can flee the perils of gravity while gliding over a magnificent vista of miniaturized trees and houses. After you've clambered aboard the skycraft, the certified pilot will taxi down the runway and bench-press the plane up into the air, explaining the flying process along the way. As your aviation adventure unfolds, you can choose to steer the metal-flappered machine yourself, or simply gaze at the ground swooping below as the plane birdie-paddles through the atmosphere.
Helmed by a team of local artists, Your Artistic Spirits holds informal visual-arts consortia in local venues such as Bier Brewery, Black Swan Brewpub, and Bodega. At each location, they welcome participants of all skill levels and disciplines to sip wine, beer, or spirits as they make art focused in a range of artistic styles, from neoclassical busts to avant-garde booms. Instructors guide attendees through step-by-step instruction to create original works in one chosen medium, such as acrylics, watercolors, sculpting clay, or papier-mâché. When not conducting public classes and private parties, artistic staffers lead team-building workshops and art-therapy programs for children and adults.