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.
New Jersey's municipal police officers, county corrections officers, state rangers, and other law enforcement members all start their careers in the same place: the entry-level exam. A single answer on this test could mean the difference between two candidates for the same position. It's a written obstacle course, with 10 sections that cover everything from deductive reasoning to personality traits. Luckily, it's a challenge that Top Brass Learning Centers' instructors have all met first hand. In fact, the faculty consists of police supervisors that have all scored high on their own exams. During classroom sessions, these experts cover all aspects of the written test, incorporating practice exams and training materials. They spend hours working with future officers until they can leave confident and ready to begin a life of civic service.
The instructors also help current officers advance their careers. Promotional level classes prep these continuing students for the oral, written, and telepathic portions of lieutenant and captain exams. The classes are designed for working police men and women, and instructors post online versions of each lesson to accommodate students who cannot attend in-person.
The educators at Hudson Learning Center know that all students have their own strengths and weaknesses. That's why the center's tutoring process begins with an assessment, during which the center's tutors identify specific areas for improvement and create challenging yet obtainable goals. Then?during either private or group sessions?they work with pupils to improve skills in math, reading, history, or pretty much any other subject. They can also help older students prepare for important tests, like the SAT and ACT.
In addition to their structured tutoring, Hudson Learning Center's staff hosts an after-school homework help program. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., tutors stand ready to help students complete assignments, study for exams, or wait out the necessary quarantine periods after cooties outbreaks.
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.