Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning Center’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. After-school or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
Commentary from the Dallas Mavericks’ Chris Arnold and the Dallas Cowboys’ three-time champion Kevin Smith enlivens a schedule of NFL highlights shows presented by the Sportz Dreamz Foundation. Attendees walk the red carpet and pose with the event's hosts before nestling into first-come, first-served seating and crossing their fingers to win door prizes of autographed sports memorabilia, such as signed copies of locker-room hangman sessions. Arnold and Smith are joined by special guests from time to time, which in the past have included former Cowboys Darren Woodson, Jay Novacek, Rocket Ismail, Larry Brown, Chad Hennings, hall-of-famer Mel Renfro, and many others. After sharing their behind-the-scenes insights during roughly one-hour shows, Arnold and Smith mingle with the crowd, scribbling autographs for enraptured fans and posing for snapshots. Patrons leave with complimentary official membership cards, brimming with $50 worth of vouchers toward future Sportz Partnerz events, dinners at Sportz Partnerz-affiliated restaurants, or courtside seats during the entire NBA offseason. Proceeds from ticket sales go to bolster Dallas- and Fort Worth–area youth athletics programs supported by the Sportz Dreamz Foundation.
A nonprofit organization promoting cinematic art, the Lone Star Film Society gives three-star members free admission to select events at the annual Lone Star International Film Festival (LSIFF), 25% off festival passes, entry to year-round panels and classes, and a 2011 LSIFF t-shirt. At the LSIFF, cinephiles can watch new independent films and listen to luminaries like past guests Robert Rodriguez or Harry Dean Stanton speak in the curious tongue of faraway Hollywood. Three-star members also receive advance notice for sneak previews, film retrospectives, or protospectives on high concepts still gestating in the minds of baby producers.
In 1978, funds from Mr. A. Smith Gill’s trust, combined with resources from public and other private institutions, helped to create Gill Children's Services, Inc. The charitable corporation would serve low-income children who fell through the gaps of existing services. Its staff meets with each family individually to assess the child’s need, locate a service provider, and secure funds for the treatment or service that is required. This can range from wheelchair ramps and hearing aids to eyeglasses and root canals. Over the past three decades, the organization has served more than 44,000 children to date, refusing to turn away any child in need.
Project Mom grants mothers of all stages and ages a mini break from the frenzies of home during a relaxing day convention. Saturday's festivities put the spotlight on several experts in maternal matters, from Lilian Hopes Designs to Kara Abrahamson and Jennifer Brandt of Planting Seeds Christian Counseling. Relaxation stations throughout the convention melt away stress between breakout discussions on a variety of topics, including frugal nutrition, wrangling teens and tweens, party planning, and managing toddler during those pre-hours before preschool time. Free giveaways reward guests with luxurious prizes, such as spa passes, and complimentary swag bags send moms home with gift cards, beauty products, and fly swatters for disciplining mischievous imaginary friends.
Dave Fannin remembers when treadmills were found only in doctors’ offices. As someone who has watched the fitness industry evolve since his first front-desk job at a gym in 1984, it’s no surprise that his weight-loss programs incorporate a wide range of techniques. Since opening his training business seven years ago, he’s helped more than 1,000 clients achieve a healthier lifestyle with a combination of nutritional coaching, fat-burning workouts, bursts of cardio, and ample support and motivation. He shares these regimens through one-on-one sessions, small-group personal training, boot-camp classes, and by acting them out in games of charades. Regardless of a client’s fitness level or unsuccessful attempts at weight loss in the past, Dave welcomes the challenge of helping them get healthy.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Tarrant County helps protect and advocate for the best interests of neglected and abused children involved in court proceedings. After 30 hours of intensive training on the legal process, foster care, courtroom procedures, and child abuse, volunteer advocates receive their first case and then speak up for the children through every step of the court process. Advocates visit with the children and get to know their teachers, family members, and school counselors to help determine where the child will be happiest and safest, with the goal of placing each child in the best possible permanent home. Last year, CASA of Tarrant County advocates served 750 children.