For live-fire tests, San Jac CHL's instructors use the range at Pasadena Gun Center.
Instructors rent semi-automatic handguns to students who do not have their own firearms. They also supply safety gear; students can purchase ammo at the range.
San Jac CHL's owner Wes Geddes knows how to safely handle firearms. His career as a deputy constable for Harris County depends on it. When not on duty with the police department, Wes teaches classes that qualify students to apply for concealed-handgun permits. These sessions start in the classroom, where lectures touch on topics such as weapon safety. A live-fire test follows, before students return to the classroom for lessons on gun laws and assistance in completing the required application, with Wes available for help with followup questions.
PADI instructor Bob Henry dove in the Caribbean, South America, and other tropical locales, but he always returned to his home base—B & W Dive Co., a scuba shop he founded in 1991. Since the ‘90s, his children Amber and Warren have taken the reins, carrying on their dad’s legacy by organizing dive trips and helping students earn their PADI certifications. The shop’s classes cover topics beyond open-water diving, though; they can introduce pupils to scuba basics, such as breathing underwater without trading in their ability to breathe on land, or focus on snorkeling and swimming. Visitors can also outfit themselves for solo underwater journeys with dependable aquatic gear, culled from makers such as Oceanic, Tusa, and Sealife.
By engaging children on their own level, the teachers at Kids R Kids childcare center and learning academy recognize their students for what they really are: developing brains trapped inside tiny, perfectly spherical heads. The programs hew to a philosophy of "Hug First, Then Teach," meaning they encourage a child's development on an emotional, intellectual, social, and physical level. Also essential to their teaching approach is family involvement—when new skills are introduced, the instructors make sure the parents know about the approach and aren't politically opposed to arithmetic.
They rely on their own curriculum, Brain Waves, which takes a neurologically based approach that combines educational lessons with good nutrition, regular sleep schedules, and secure relationships. Additionally, the Brain Waves curriculum helps develop brains with many forms of language (including sign language) and exposure to technology in a controlled environment.
Pearland Swim Academy’s pool is equipped with a saltwater chlorine generator, which helps cut down on any eye and skin irritation students may experience. In addition, because the generator attempts to match the pH level of human tears, it allows swimmers to think about Old Yeller without anyone noticing. Heated to 90 degrees in an indoor, air-conditioned facility, the pool hosts lessons year-round in the form of two-week camps on a perpetual loop. Coaches are trained in the Pearland Swim Academy curriculum, first aid, and CPR, so they are well equipped to supervise students as they splash around during 30-minute lessons. Kids as young as 6 months can attend classes, and the academy also offers lessons for adults.
Tanya Gorguraki and Chris Chung bring more than four decades of combined diving experience to the classes at Dive Zone Scuba, a wealth of expertise that help the facility earned a five-star rating from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). The diving duo conducts confined water pool sessions in a heated Olympic-sized indoor pool, allowing students to focus on learning proper dive techniques in a controlled environment away from the ocean’s inconstant currents and heckling fish. Each of their courses equips students with certification in a particular area of diving proficiency, unlocking underwater avenues related to open water diving, rescue, or specialty skills.
Q&A with Victoria Treadway, Owner of The Music Connection of Pearland
Tell us about your business.
We are a family-owned-and-operated music studio. We teach all styles of music, from jazz and blues to pop and classical. We teach individual lessons and group classes, primarily in piano, for ages 2 to adult. Piano is the most sought-after instrument we offer, [but] we also teach drums and guitar.
What makes your business stand out?
[First of all,] we are the only music studio in Pearland to offer group classes. They are more affordable, more fun because of the setting, and create a more independent student. We have our own curriculum, so we are able to give songs that are more well known and fun. [Second of all,] we are the only music studio in Pearland to offer Mommy and Me and preschool piano classes. Our program focuses on the piano and teaches theory through characters and different activities. Once the students have completed the different levels, they'll know the notes on the keyboard [and be able to] identify the dynamics of music, find the rhythm and recognize note values, and play beginner songs.
What inspired you to run this business?
This business has been in the family for 15 years. Once I [the daughter] got involved when I was going through college, I saw the potential to move from a business operating from home to a music studio. The reason we started the classes was for the student that wasn't self-motivated. Some students need a more fun environment than one-on-one lessons. I also strongly believe in starting your children in music lessons as early as you can to help children with their fine-motor skills, developing perfect pitch, and loads of other skills.
What is your most popular offering?
Group piano classes—once a week for 45 minutes—[and] individual piano [lessons, held] once a week for 30 minutes. [We also offer] preschool piano classes [and] Mommy and Me piano classes, [both held] once a week for 35 minutes.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
One of our students [was] in shock over the amazing progress her son had made over the course of a year. He started as a beginner, and the next year he was playing songs like Solfeggietto and Moonlight Sonata. She recommended so many students to us. We called her our biggest fan.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Watching the students' progress and teaching them different styles of music. It's rewarding to see our students develop a love for music.
Anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We care about each and every student that comes through our door. We never give up on someone who takes a little longer than average to develop their musical skills.