Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning Center’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. After-school or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
Although he didn't start playing the piano until age 19, Casey Thomas let his hard work and natural talent carry him to a career as a professional musician. His wife Samantha followed a more traditional path, playing as a child before earning valuable experience as a singer/songwriter and music instructor in cities throughout Texas. Now the leaders of the Creative Soul School of Music, the two bring their own experiences together in support of a shared mission: providing a nurturing environment where young musicians can hone their innate skills and discover their confidence. “We’re trying to get to those kids who are trying to figure out their identity, where they fit in, where they can find a home,” Casey says. To that end, the school tailors private lessons and classes to suit each student’s passion, be it songwriting, orchestral layering, or technical proficiency in headbanging. Year-round, the school dots the local sonic landscape with trimesters of student band classes for children and adults, as well as one-week and shorter summer rock camps that pair up learners of the same age and experience level. Welcoming all proficiencies, instructors tout an ability to nurture struggling learners, who ultimately build the confidence to perform live shows at venues around the region.
The Dyer family opened their first appliance repair shop on a dusty stretch of road in Fort Worth in 1945, and nearly 70 years later they're still at work tinkering over the ovens, refrigerators, and washing machines families invest in for their homes. Over the years their repertoire has come to include modern appliances such as microwaves and garbage disposals, and they can work with many major brands, including Whirlpool, GE, and Sub-Zero. Perhaps not surprisingly, they also conduct an appliance-repair academy that equips students to become certified professional technicians.
With more than 20 years behind the camera, the shutterbug at Reatta Photography has developed a clean, classic style of portraiture. She executes this expertise during shoots for families, kids, couples, moms-to-be, and high-school seniors. Remaining engaged in the art form through continued education, she can guarantee she’s up to date on all the latest techniques and technology. That means that her style can be customized to suit each client’s needs and that any editing and effects added in postproduction are performed masterfully. The photographer also covers special events such as weddings, baptisms, and quinceañeras.
United Cheer's coaches train aspiring cheerleaders aged 3 and older, teaching skills from basic forward rolls to more advanced back handsprings and standing tumbling. Along the way, they follow a "perfection before progression" approach, ensuring safety by requiring students to perfect basics before moving on to higher-level moves.
Brazilian-born Larissa Mulligan began playing piano at the age of five, quickly developing a passion for the instrument. That passion lasted beyond childhood: she later graduated from the Brazilian Conservatory of Music in Rio de Janeiro and went on to teach and perform professionally in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. At LM Music studio, she works to spark students’ interest in musical expression with private and group lessons that incorporate fun activities to deepen understanding of rhythm and other musical concepts. She also uses music to turn monolingual tots into little polyglots in her Music and Language classes, which improve piano skills as well as aptitude in Spanish, Portuguese, or English.