Speaking Spanish is second nature to Lima, Peru, native Doris Griep. She not only spoke it every day in her homeland until relocating to Minnesota in the late '90s, but she also earned a master's degree in Spanish education from Bethel University a few years after moving. After teaching Spanish to private-school students for more than a decade, she decided to revive El Gato con Botas Learning Center, a preschool and kindergarten care center inspired by one she successfully ran in Peru.
But it's not a typical daycare—caretakers mostly converse with kids in Spanish (about 90% of the time). And by incorporating the foreign language into art projects, singing, dancing, and educational cultural activities, they foster an understanding of it in their students, preparing them for speaking it later in life.
Gordon Franks and Pat Worley are more than black belts. They’re ninth-degree black belts who share their chosen martial art with youngsters and adults alike through USA Karate, the school they cofounded. The school - which opened in 1973 and has been operating for more than 40 years - was featured on the local CBS station and teaches self-defense techniques that help students graduate to higher-level belts and translate into increased agility, coordination, and self-confidence.
The technicians at Element Computer Repair keep Windows and Macintosh computers, tablets, and smartphones performing optimally with repairs and upgrades. They service Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, and other platforms, removing viruses and updating software, and they can also fix broken smartphone screens. Tune-ups, virus removal, and re-imaging sessions include complimentary hardware cleaning and system updates.
In an era when back-to-basics workouts have rapidly reemerged, Evolution Group Fitness looks to the time of the caveman for inspiration. During its signature Caveman Training class, instructors create routines that blend strength and cardio for a powerful, challenging workout. No two classes unfold the same way, which means muscles never settle into a comfortable homeostasis. The fitness center also offers personal training, sports-specific workouts, and seminars such as self-defense and workplace safety.
Baby Genius's award-winning children's products teach babies and toddlers essential skills through the power of music. Based on a bounty of research, the company's DVDs enrich the learning experience by merging classical pieces and familiar songs with vibrant images, keeping kids entertained for hours. Parents can sit back while animated animal educators teach pocket-size pupils better motor skills, dictionary-defying vocabularies, vampire-free counting, and nap-inducing dance moves that ready little ones for kindergarten and beyond.
When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in 1941, the menu offered beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, drinks, and that’s all. By focusing on perfecting the flavors of a few dishes, Travis was able to increase quality, and, ultimately, customers. Patrons were so enamored of the food that the restaurant eventually expanded into a nationwide franchise, allowing Americans all over to wear badges made of barbecue sauce. Over the past 70 years, Dickey’s has been passed on to Travis’s sons, but not much else has changed—the quality meats are still seasoned and smoked on site, and except for the addition of spicy cheddar sausage in 2011, the menu remains the same. Regional meats ensure that the most succulent Texas-style chopped beef brisket, old-recipe polish sausage, and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs make it to tabletops. Sides such as mac 'n' cheese and green beans with bacon continue to enhance feasts with an extra punch of homestyle tastiness. Each meal comes complete with complimentary ice cream, soft rolls, and dill pickles.