In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Eye Level Learning Center's tutoring equation is like a math problem its students might study: 1 teaching method + 3 subjects x 16 countries = 2.5 million enrollments worldwide. First developed in South Korea in 1976, Eye Level takes its name from their desire to see things from a student's point of view. Educators customize lessons to fit each pupil, and its self-directed method allows students to move at their own pace.
Children taking mathematics lessons build upon a basic foundation, then learn how to apply critical thinking to math concepts such as geometry and measurement to solve problems. English-session students learn basic grammar skills as well as advanced reading comprehension and writing skills.
In three different pools across New Jersey and Pennsylvania, young swimmers are always seen splashing, learning, and reaching swimming goals. That's because they're students of Aquatics Academy, where a 2-to-1 instructor-student ratio gives kids the attention they need to develop strong water skills. The Instructors bring with them 8 to 23 years of teaching experience each, with a special knack for motivating and inspiring. Of course, kids aren't the only ones they're helping brush up on their techniques. Adult swim lessons are also available.
At Eldridge Overton Educational Programs, instructors believe it's never too early to prepare kids for college or being taller than you. During educational programs, they target their lessons to each student, concocting individual plans to fill common skill gaps. Every program includes regular assessments and tutoring sessions with a low student-to-teacher ratio to help kids achieve their goals. The programs aim to improve knowledge in reading, math, writing, and test-taking skills while improving concentration and confidence. Summer courses also help students refine skills in a variety of subjects during one week of instruction.
The Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium entreats attendees of all ages to sit back, look up, and gaze upon constellations and other light-based spectacles. Astronomy shows entertain younger audiences during afternoon showings, with summer gems such as Attack of the Space Pirates or Solar System Odyssey. On weekends, the staff caters to older crowds with laser concerts with music from bands such as Coldplay, The Beatles, and Pink Floyd. After the show, guests can stop into a gift shop filled to the brim with science, astronomy, and star charts, along with freeze-dried astronaut foods such as ice cream or apple wedges. With an eye toward community outreach, the Planetarium also hosts group shows and field-trip programs. The crew also regularly tricks stars into attending the third grade by dragging them to schools via the Starlab Portable Planetarium’s inflatable dome.