Aloha Mind Math's certified teachers strive for one goal: to free students from the tyranny of calculators. They’re aided in their fight by the center's Abacus Learning of Higher Arithmetic (ALOHA) curriculum, a program designed by a panel of mathematics experts to mitigate students’ mind-melting reliance on machine-based calculation. Teachers lead students through weekly after-school classes that increase mental processing abilities through fun, interactive lessons, keeping classes small to ensure all students receive ample attention. Though primarily focused on math, teachers also host reading and writing classes that increase literacy, reducing the chance students will accidentally sign contracts to forever trade their chocolate milk for pieces of chalk.
The Ives Quartet's musicians—violinists Bettina Mussumeli and Susan Freier, violist Jodi Levitz. and cellist Stephen Harrison—wash two intimate venues with unexpected selections. One of Haydn's famous Prussian quartets opens the program with rich interplay between instruments and instantly accessible melodies before Quincy Porter's String Quartet no. 6 spotlights a 20th-century take on the classical form. To help perform Tchaikovsky's energetic Souvenir of Florence sextet and feed the metronomes during the earlier pieces, violist and co-founder of the Moab Music Festival Leslie Tomkins wields her bow alongside guest cellist Tanya Tomkins of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.
Wix furnishes budding craftsmen with the tools to engineer custom candles and soaps on hardwood picnic-style tables in a spacious craft studio. After a brief instructional rundown, freshly learned candlestick makers and soap sculptors are set free to choose base wax or soap color, mold shape, and one of more than 30 scents such as bubblegum, coffee, and molten happiness. Crafters then embed colorful dry pieces of wax or soap into molds in shapes such as hearts, stars, and moons before a staff member pours in a melted scented mixture that holds the final product together like handcuffs made of wedding vows. Wix's accommodating staff also walks visitors through assembling a beeswax pillar candle using three sheets of beeswax. Candles and soaps are ready for pickup within two days.
A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.
First conceived nearly 50 years ago, the dream of the Oshman Family JCC officially came to fruition in 2009 as a sprawling, 45,000-square-foot campus that welcomes people of all backgrounds. The Richard & Rhoda Goldman Sports & Wellness Complex hosts more than 90 group fitness classes per week, complementing these sessions with basketball and volleyball games. An outdoor, 81-degree pool supplies six lanes for swimming laps and connects with a sun deck that's ideal for relaxing with a good book or identifying barbell-shaped cloud formations. But the center focuses on enriching people's lives through other means as well. It supports families via kid-friendly camps, activities, and early-childhood education programs. It also hosts cultural events in the Schultz Cultural Arts Hall, spotlighting the works of renowned artists, musicians, and authors.