Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award?winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
After graduating cum laude from Duquesne University's Mary Pappert School of Music, violinist Kendra Vernon went on to earn a degree in violin performance at Duquesne's Honors College. In 2002, she took the next logical step: sharing her hard-earned skills with aspiring violinists during private lessons. At Vernon Music Studio, she tailors each lesson to the needs of the individual to help students pick up skills quickly and thoroughly. All lessons are one-on-one and free of distractions, and there's a comfortable waiting area for parents.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous study facilities understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. After-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
The experienced coaches at Norcal Youth Football Camps teach players of all skill levels ages 7–14 to safely maximize their potential on and off the field. Entrust a fledgling fullback or young sacking sensation to camp director Ken Peralta and his perpetually Gatorade-soaked coaching staff for four days as they mold raw talent into finely tuned wide receivers, linebackers, and linemen. The first half of the camp, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., involves warm-ups and a defensive clinic before campers break for a half hour lunch. Lunch is followed by offensive clinics, games, and an autograph-perfecting tutorial to round out the day, which concludes at 2 p.m.
SF Mixology founder Shawn Refoua blended his experience as program director and a student of behavioral psychology into an academy that brings bartending methodology and cocktail mixology into the 21st century. With an eye toward libation history, the school's interactive classes range from basic and advanced mixology courses to in-depth lessons on specific liquors and the evolution of the cocktail through the 14 years of Prohibition and the decade when swizzle sticks were outlawed. Each class complements the goals of cocktail party hosts, as well as aspiring or continually learning bartenders, who can learn and practice essential behind-the-bar techniques while brushing up on flavor theory and emerging recipe methodologies. Held in a high-profile bar, the laid-back classes include plenty of sample sips and enthusiastic toasts to newfound friends.
Alameda Natural Grocery specializes in providing affordable natural and organic foods in a neighborhood-market environment. The store features a produce department that's 99% organic 100% of the time and 25% sentient 1% of the time, fresh dairy products, bountiful bulk buys, and a helpful staff that radiates healthy, edible vibes to nibble on while shopping. Pick a peck of non-pickled pleasantries such as stone fruits from Blossom Bluff Farms for $2.99 or an open pint of strawberries from Yerena Farms for $2.29. All-natural Brown Cow yogurts ($0.99 per cup) are on hand for later spoon feeding narrated by airplane sound effects, while Renew Life fish oils ($15.99–$23.99) are available in the supplements and personal-care departments for diving into the fast track toward improved health.