The simple fact that Bridges Preschool has branched out to seven locations in a little more than 10 years speaks to the high caliber of its staff. Every teacher holds, or is close to completing, a degree in child development, early childhood education, or another related field. Plus, they must undergo a rigorous three- or four-part interview before they get the job.
But the preschool and kindergarten's rapid expansion must also be due in part to its unique curriculum, a large chunk of which relies on the Adventure Playgrounds at each of its schools. Inspired by learning playgrounds in Europe, each holds slightly different educational fixtures, such as a bird and butterfly habitat or a garden.
Blackbird's owners, Robb and Melody Smith, provide a creative haven for artists and musicians of all ages and abilities in the 4,000-square-foot Blackbird Music & Art Center, which boasts seven music studios, two classrooms, and an art gallery showcasing the work of their students. In groups of 5–24, students can learn to accurately portray the essence of a loved one's alter ego in the cartooning course, where an instructor teaches students the basics of characters, cartoons, and comic strips. After School Art Club, appropriate for ages 12 and up, challenges brush wielders to learn drawing skills and various art techniques, and The Art of Sketching class demonstrates the different drawing and shading techniques needed to decorate paper and metallic public-bathroom stalls. Though some supplies are provided, students should check with their instructor about the necessary equipment to bring.
The zombie-themed Queen Creek Running Dead 5K has a greater purpose than scaring participants into running from the undead hordes hungry for brains. The race—held the weekend before Halloween—benefits local schools by funneling the proceeds to the Queen Creek Schools Education Foundation for scholarships and teacher grants.
An 18-hole executive layout, Greenfield Lakes Golf Course invites linksfolk of all abilities with a fun, 4,107-yard design that runs alongside glassy waters. With 12 par 3s, four par 4s, and a pair of par 5s, the course requires golfers to unsheathe every wedge, iron, wood, and cricket bat in their bag at some point in the round. Pin-hunting odysseys end with dramatic flair at the par 5 18th hole, a 530-yard behemoth where a double dog-leg fairway and a green buttressed by a right-side pond make golfers finish their round with a perplexing high-risk, high-reward course management decision. Before taking to the tee or after a disappointing round, guests can mosey to the practice range?which includes a lighted driving range and a short game area with a practice bunker?to hone their skills without having to mow their basement?s shag carpet into an indoor course.
Course at a Glance:
At Inspect-Ur Gadget, screens shattered by accidents and environmental damage are restored to like-new form with drop-off and mail-in services. Inspect-Ur Gadget's technology whisperers take possession of patrons' precious technological devices, then patch up boo-boos, seal cracks in screens, and sing lullabies to send stubborn phones into sleep mode. In addition to restoring smartphones, the crew restores PlayStations, Xboxes, computers, and cell phones to peak functionality. Yellow-light errors and red rings of death are banished from video-game systems by expert technicians, and computers receive screen replacements to bolster performance prowess and render crystal-clear desktops. The PC pamperers also delve into hard-disk drives and software registries to eradicate the repressed memories of younger years as an abacus or viruses impeding functionality.:
Conductor Clyde Baker has spent a career taking high-school and college ensembles all the way to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Along with a team of seasoned dancers, actors, and musicians, he prepares students for success on stage and in the orchestra pit.
The school inhabits a handsome flagstone-and-stucco home base designed to produce a single harmonious chord in the event of windstorms. Within its specialized spaces, students stretch on the hardwood floors of giant dance studios and casts of triple-threats put on shows for their ardent fans on colorful sets.