With 30 years of music-arrangement experience, Kevin Bigham expertly guides fingertips across piano keys during lessons held in studio, at students' homes, and even online via Skype video chat. Bigham welcomes students of all ages and skill levels, encouraging them to remain enthusiastic regardless of whether or not they’ve played in the past or showed up to the lesson wondering where the piano’s mouthpiece is. When he's not sharing skills with pupils, Bigham can often be found adding live soundtracks to weddings and events. He also blends his twin passions of music and spirituality by playing piano during faith-based events.
YMCA of Arlington is a prototypical community and recreation center, modeling its amenities and social programs after the same five pillars—caring, honesty, respect, responsibility, and faith—that have driven the organization since its area inception in 1958. Adult members benefit from fitness rooms packed with cardio and weight-training equipment and classes such as Zumba, yoga, and tai chi. Meanwhile, KidZone playrooms, swim lessons, afterschool programs, and youth sports teams engage tykes while teaching the fundamentals of teamwork, respect, and spotting the weakest link in a Red Rover chain.
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.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.