Books Through Bars, Inc. provides free reading materials for prisoners across the country. Every month, it receives more than 120 letters from prisoners requesting books. The organization responds by sending donated volumes from individuals, libraries, and community organizations, making selections based on the stated preferences of the inmate. Reading the books provides a productive activity for the inmates and can help them develop politically, spiritually, and academically during their time in prison.
Bar 101's amiable atmosphere plays host to an expansive menu of burgers, pizzas, and bar delicacies that set the stage for weekly events. Rich layers of crumbled bleu cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing smother the pepper-encrusted black and bleu burger ($8), while the thai crunch salad chauffeurs bites of grilled chicken, mixed greens, chow mein, wasabi peas, and rice wine peanut vinaigrette ($8) safely to hungering mouths. As the night stretches on toward a 1 a.m. closing time, grilled pizzas ($7–$8) such as the loaded potato, topped with bacon, potatoes, monterey jack, and garlic oil, accompany a hearty list of martinis and wines set to grease tall tales of champion fish and game-show-winning sharks.
•For $40, you get eight weeks of creative dance (ages 4–5) or introduction to ballet (ages 6–7) instruction with one class per week (an $84 value). •For $80, you get eight weeks of ballet 1, 2, or 3 instruction (ages 8–11) or adult ballet with two classes per week (a $180 value). •For $120, you get eight weeks of intermediate or advanced ballet instruction (ages 12+) with three classes per week (a $580 value). Previous training is required for intermediate and advanced ballet levels.
Led by experienced dance tutor Richard Maddalena, Simply Ballroom leads pupils through the basic of dance. Classes cover such styles as ballroom, foxtrot, waltz, cha-cha, and swing, with remedial hokey-pokey classes for those who just never learned.
Continuing the mission started in London more than 160 years ago, YMCA Smithfield provides quality, accessible fitness and wellness programs to families. Members enjoy full access to the center's fitness opportunities, whether they're burning calories in the gym, gliding through laps in the pool, or joining fellow members in classes ranging from kickboxing to Pilates. YMCA Smithfield also houses the organization's signature children's programming, helping kids get ready for school with pre-K enrichment or prepping them for a semester abroad in Atlantis with swim lessons. Before- and afterschool programs also give kids a safe spot to play while parents are at work.
After putting their heads together back in 2005, sisters Lynn Grissom and Susan Bucci came to open the first Little Gym in Rhode Island. The concept was simple: positively impact kids by helping build confidence and self-esteem through noncompetitive, fun classes. The result was a curriculum-based program that got kids aged 4 months to 12 years active during karate classes, jazz dancing, and karate chopping stacks of boring homework in half. At the Smithfield location, instructors focus on "movement, music, learning, and laughter," during courses held six days a week.
Throughout the past three decades martial artist Bob Salisbury has dabbled in an array of martial arts styles—shaolin kempo karate and taekwondo, to name a few—but his specialty is kosho ryu kempo. At his studio, RI Fitness & Martial Arts, he and his staff teach this and other martial arts styles to students of all ages. Their adult classes focus on improving self-defense techniques, whereas youth classes focus on boosting self-esteem. Meanwhile, cardio kickboxing, boot camp, and kettlebell training classes can also help students pack a stronger punch and or whittle their way into a size smaller black belt.