The Theatre Institute at Sage's kid-friendly productions complement its mission of bringing classic stories into the community via intrepid student performers. One of William Shakespeare's most celebrated comedies, Much Ado About Nothing weaves the tale of two pairs of lovers navigating the romantic labyrinths of unrequited desire, mistaken identity, and planning a wedding in iambic pentameter. The show's all-female cast neatly reverses the Elizabethan tradition of men playing women's roles and women playing stage props, filling the redbrick Schacht Fine Arts Center with a girl-powered spin on the play's inimitable blend of high jinks and high art.
SIGNING Basics' instructors help their students learn to speak without uttering a word. Through private lessons and group classes, they teach American Sign Language to students of all ages and backgrounds. Introductory lessons lead students through the basics of the sign-language alphabet and movements. Advanced classes show students how to carry conversations, enabling them to communicate effectively or correct baseball coaches' faulty ?charge the mound? gestures. Instructors also offer workshops that impart basic techniques for businesses and groups.
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.
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.
After fighting her way back to a size four following the birth of her third child, Debi Condon earned her personal-training-and-nutrition certification and founded Evolution Fitness. Debi and her crew lead mostly female groups of all ages and fitness levels through indoor and outdoor boot camps, TRX-suspension classes and personal-training sessions. Interval routines leverage mats, free weights, and nearby playground equipment to build up endurance against fatigue and cooties. With an emphasis on supportive motivation rather than drill-sergeant tactics or endless scrimmages against fast-food mascots, trainers strive to build accountability among their students through friendships and unlimited email support.
An affiliate of Westfield State University, Westfield Flight Academy is an FAA-certified flight school where current and former airline pilots help ground-bound beginners head for the heavens. Leave ineffectual bird suits and prohibitively ugly rocket sneakers at home for a high-altitude tutorial, beginning with a preflight discussion of basic information and the principles of aerodynamics. Following the briefing, the cockpit will become your classroom as you embark on a training flight lasting about 45 minutes, giving you the chance to start, taxi, take off, and fly the plane as your instructor explains how to break gravity's rules without hurting its feelings. After the flight, every pupil will receive a certificate of completion, as well as a logbook signed by the instructor using a quill stolen from the wing of a peregrine falcon, the only bird that can fly without first inhaling helium.