More than three decades ago, educator Larry Martinek set out on a mission to develop a curriculum that would radically change the traditional approach to teaching math. Noting a "disconnect between students' basic skills training and the curriculum they [must] master in the years to come," Larry created an original teaching method designed to turn students into miniature mathematicians capable of thinking critically to solve problems. His approach, which he describes as the cultivation of number sense, strives to sharpen students’ math instincts, rather than drill them with repetitive, memory-based exercises or force them to blackmail accountants to crunch the numbers. Soon after students began using Larry's method, their test scores began to rise. In the spring of 2002, Larry's dream came true. Peter Markovitz and David Ullendorff, leaders in the education industry, made Larry and his curriculum the driving force of Mathnasium. Larry introduced his curriculum as the Mathnasium Method.
Today, Mathnasium centers can be found throughout the world. Informed by Larry's visionary innovations, the program's tutors give personalized coaching that focuses on bolstering critical thinking through written materials and mental math, forsaking many of the teaching tools found in a traditional classroom. In addition, the tutors also focus on boosting students' enthusiasm for the subject, helping them overcome a lack of confidence in the classroom or their innate fear of prime numbers.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award?winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
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.
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.
University Admissions Prep Coach's tutors all scored within the 95th percentile of SAT test takers. The whip-smart team shares their test-taking strategies and skills during a six-part program designed to prepare students for the rigors of the SAT with practice tests and 30 hours of in-class instruction. Tutors help guide their students through a battery of mental exercises, familiarizing them with standardized test fundamentals such as math, reading, and pencil anatomy.
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.