Children are best equipped to develop analytical skills for current and future learning between the formative ages of 3.5 and 14. That's why Best Brains sets students off on the right foot by offering focused courses in subjects such as math, English, abacus, and general knowledge. Certified teachers help students develop skills in writing, grammar, critical thinking word problems, and basic computational math, using an abacus counting tool to help develop spatial memory.
At Tiger Kwon’s Martial Arts, aspiring fighters have the unique opportunity to learn a martial art directly from its founder. Grandmaster Kwon, a ninth-degree black belt with more than 68 years of experience, combined elements of tae kwon do, hapkido, and kickboxing to create his own system—Kwon Mu Do—which he teaches alongside a team of fellow instructors. Other classes offered at the studio include Zumba dance fitness and Turbo Kick cardio kickboxing.
Toy Box Connection aims to help all children receive the gift of a toy or a book year-round, serving as the connection between the families and businesses that donate these items and the children who need them. After accepting new and gently used toys, Toy Box Connection sorts and cleans them at its warehouse, then redistributes the toys and books to its partner nonprofit organizations. From there, the items are given directly to the children in need. Special projects include donating toys to children in the hospital, families of returning troops, and children in special needs or foster camps.
Fed up with hearing about rude encounters between taxi drivers and the elderly, taxi dispatcher Dan Quiery decided to volunteer time in his retirement to righting these wrongs through Escorted Transportation Service Northwest (ETS/NW). Now the organization's 2011 Volunteer of the Year, according to the Daily Herald, Dan and a team of 70 volunteer drivers at ETS/NW offer both companionship and a vital service as they transport senior citizens to and from medical and dental appointments in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The seniors often have limited transportation options and would not be able to get to their appointments without aid. Though $12 donations are requested for each ride, the drivers chip in their own money to cover the cost of the trip's gas. Still, this does not deter founder Kathy Kasprowicz and her dedicated volunteers—honored with the 2012 STAR Merit Award from The Beverly Foundation—who were proud to have provided 2,453 roundtrip rides throughout the region in 2011 alone.
The organizers of Double Denim Bar Crawl have two goals: raise awareness of autism and have fun doing it. Their yearly bar crawls through historic Wringleyville gather revelers suited up from head to toe in denim jeans, jackets, and shirts to let loose amid raffles, dance-offs, and debates on the cultural degradation caused by khaki. Contests including ring toss and a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament complement prizes for best and worst double denim, denim princess, and achievement for drinking excellence. Celebrants can feel good about every sudsy libation they imbibe since profits of the crawl go to the Chicagoland Chapter of Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to funding autism research, spreading awareness, and advocating for the individuals and families affected by autism.