Following an oil spill in 1979, TWRC Wildlife Center established itself as an emergency room and rehabilitation facility where people could take sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife. Animals remain at the center and undergo medical care and regular feeding until they are strong enough to reenter the wild. The center also receives questions about wildlife issues and maintains a focus on public awareness through a variety of educational programs on urban ecosystems and conservation issues. TWRC only uses certified rehabilitators and veterinarians to handle the animals, and conducts its own two-day skills seminar to train rehabilitators every year.
Fred Astaire Dance Studio's retinue of step-savvy instructors transforms clunky feet into sashaying instruments through a quartet of private and group dance classes. During the 45-minute private lessons, students and their optional partners learn basic footwork while building the confidence necessary to take a spin on the dance floor or backflip into a corporate rival's cubicle. Covering the basics of Latin, ballroom, swing, and country-western dancing, individual lessons cater to a student’s specific needs before letting them loose during the 45-minute group classes. Accompanied by 8–30 other amateur rug cutters, these communal dance lessons bolster partnership, timing, and rhythm, and keep feet agile enough to maneuver the punch-bowl stampedes of modern dance floors.
During the last academic year, the HAS provided more than 100 wildlife-outreach programs to approximately 8,000 underprivileged youth at Title 1 schools. Outreach programs bring live birds of prey, insects, and native animals into classrooms for 45-minute workshops, which include topics such as Incredible Insects and Birds of the Bayou City. Through hands-on displays and slides, children learn about various bird calls, how to protect endangered species, and how to recognize animal habitats. The HAS still needs help funding its outreach programs at local schools to cover the costs of mileage, staff time, live-animal care, and print media.
Through customized coaching, regular workouts, and inspirational camaraderie, Team In Training readies bodies for races and benefits medical-cure research. Certified coaches tailor each three- to five-month conditioning program to participants' individual abilities, helping ambitious athletes increase their speed, endurance, and confidence when faced with human-size hamster balls. Adhering to monthly exercise calendars, groups of trainees assemble one or two times a week (usually on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings), pushing each other toward top potential. Clinics held on nutrition and injury prevention supplement workout regimens, and provided Team In Training apparel prepares racers to run straight onto runways after crossing the finish line. In addition to athletic training and stylish swag, participants receive fundraising support and incentives (fundraising requirements vary based on the event).
Gyrate like a gypsy or barre like a ballerina with today’s fancy-footed Groupon. For $35, you’ll get four dance classes in a month at Alegria Dance and Performing Arts Center, a flamenco-based dance studio experienced in skilling stunted swayers. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Literacy Advance provides free classes that teach adults in the Houston area English as a second language. In 2010, Literacy Advance developed stronger literacy skills for 3,416 people and trained more than 360 new tutors. Volunteer tutors teach five students in each class how to read English with the use of picture dictionaries and textbooks, focusing on the skills necessary for gaining employment, utilizing health-care access, earning an education, finding housing, and navigating street maps. Literacy Advance provides training, books, and supplies for students in its ESL classes, but more than 350 people are currently on the waiting list to attend, stretching the organization's budget.