In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
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 and New Jersey.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes 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 that stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
Spread out across nine locations in New Jersey and New York, Treasure Island Self Storage's complexes safely house personal belongings in climate-controlled units protected by password-controlled gates and overseen by 24-hour video-surveillance feeds. The units come in a variety of sizes and are accessible seven days a week. Customers can take advantage of drive-up access and ground-floor loading, a more convenient way to store trinkets than shipping them to a relative's attic. At each location, a professional consultant is ready to assist customers, and an assortment of boxes, tape, and other packing supplies are available at each location to provide items a smooth and secure passage. Select locations are also U-Haul-authorized dealerships equipped to rent out moving trucks. Other locations provide free use of their own trucks for clients who can't balance a couch on their handlebars.
Twenty-two years ago, Mark and Lynn Zientek started New Jersey Partyworks as a small, family-run operation whose costumed characters and clowns entertained at parties, barbecues, and gatherings. Today, the business outfits small soirees as well as big-time special events with rental amusement rides, moonbounces, tents, slides, and interactive games and obstacle courses. Staff members oversee all the rides and revelry, backed by weekly trainings from managers certified in nationally recognized safety regulations and equipment maintenance as well as balloon-animal taxonomy. The company's troupe of live entertainers now includes DJs, stilt walkers, magicians, and caricaturists who help ring in special occasions for crowds of laughing kids and grownups alike.
No one likes fiddling with stubborn locks or tugging at sticky storage space doors. Luckily, as long as customers keep their belongings with MakeSpace, they never have to deal with these frustrations or set foot in a cavernous and cold storage facility again. Bright green trucks deliver matching 27"x17"x12.5" bins to customers, which can hold up to 12 pairs of shoes, for example, or 70 books, or one life-size Harry Houdini-shaped J-ello mold. Once the bins are ready, the trucks come back to take them to MakeSpace's secure and weatherproof facility, where belongings are watched around the clock by a security team. Customers manage their stored inventory online, and if they need something pulled out of storage, the team will return bins to them within a 24-hour window.