In the late 1970s, career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff uses testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs, and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics, which stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
At the Knowledge Network, experts in fields such as dance, spirituality, cooking, and writing teach a cornucopia of cultural, commercial, and life-skills classes with a flexible schedule of diverse classes held throughout the capital district. In Best Holiday Treats from Around the World on December 7 ($50 plus one nonperishable item for the Latham food bank), Chef Ric Orlando—champion of the Food Network’s Chopped—puts his signature spin on sizzling Hanukkah latkes, Kwanzaa peanut soup, the Italian feast of the seven fishes, and figgy pudding, taking holiday cooking far past the realm of microwave-cooked Peeps. Author and dream warrior Robert Moss imparts his synthesis of modern dreamwork and ancient shamanic practices in The Power of Active Dreaming on December 8 ($45), where students learn to solve problems, improve health, and spark creativity during nighttime reveries. Revisit bygone eras of hip hop with four Breakdancing classes ($45), in which students learn to spin, toprock, and perform basic floor routines under the guidance of instructor Turbeau, who has performed on MTV’s The Grind.
Beginning with two brothers, a neighborhood full of spectators, and a helium-neon laser, Mad Science today deploys entertaining educators around the world to inject hands-on science programs with an element of fun. Nearly five million children annually enjoy accessible lessons, which may take the form of a weeklong summer day program or a birthday party that explains the physics of the Earth's revolution around the guest of honor. Schools host afterschool programs every year, which may include a NASA-approved astronomy series, a Rube Goldbergian introduction to simple machines, or an exploration into the science of toys. Living up to their promise of melding education and entertainment, Mad Science's experts have teamed up with scientists of screens large and small to produce live stage shows such as Star Trek Live, CSI: Live, and Movie Magic.
Brian Leaf has spent countless hours parsing through Family Guy, Twilight, The 40-Year Old Virgin, and myriad other pop-culture phenomena—not for his own amusement, but to pick out SAT and ACT vocabulary words lurking in the scripts, which he's compiled in six books. A seasoned test-prep instructor, Leaf has helped thousands of students surmount standardized tests through his books and workshops, which dole out insider advice for taking the entire tests as well as specific subjects such as math, reading, and dodgeball. Students leave each session with a collection of McGraw-Hill guidebooks, tips on stress management and avoiding common avoidable mistakes, and strategies for each subject.
What makes your business stand out?
The driving force behind language acquisition is the communicative bond between the teacher and student, along with an environment that enables the learner to build confidence, in order to, move forward. I am well versed in cultural and academic diversity and my approach to teaching/learning is based on the individual in reference to interests, focus and goals.
What inspired you to start or run this business?
My focus has always been on shedding light and support where there is struggle. In the school system today there are two types of learners: those who are able to flow within the system and those who struggle within it. My inspiration is to help those kids and adults who may have developed a negative inner-dialogue in reference to language learning and life building skills and inspire a positive attitude and connection to language learning by discovering what works in order to move them forward.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
In reference to my adult ESL clients, I like to make them feel comfortable with where they are in their language skills in the moment. Often they know more than they themselves believe and that is why we build language skills from already present strengths. Culture is huge, and therefor it is super important that they integrate their language learning with everyday activities. I help them do that. Also, for my creative students I offer an artistic perspective to learning English—learning English through the arts. For example, poetry, creative writing, painting, drawing, music appreciation, art appreciation, etc. All the above aspects can be interwoven with reading, writing, speaking and listening.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
What’s your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part about my job is when my clients/students feel validated and satisfied with each lesson; when they feel they are able to connect another part of the puzzle piece and when they walk away feeling good about themselves and their knowledge.
Applying to college can cause students anxiety and uncertainty about their future. To ease these concerns, Veritas Prep leads SAT and GMAT preparation courses that have garnered media attention from the likes of the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Businessweek. The company's SAT and GMAT instructors, all of whom boast scores within their respective test's 99th percentile, host lessons online or in classrooms in 70 cities worldwide. For the SAT prep course, they help students develop strategies and finger-tapping rhythms to use on each part of the test. For the GMAT, they teach how to think logically, solve problems, and avoid trap questions—skills students can hone with more than 3,000 practice problems. Both courses also grant access to practice tests, online study materials, and online tutoring.
Alternatively, Veritas Prep can counsel prospective graduate students through each step of their application; the company's director of admissions consulting even hand selects a consultant for each applicant. Consultants and applicants then work together on applications to medical, law, or MBA programs. Together they practice interview questions, craft essays, and train for the admission committee's obstacle course.