Whether guiding youths as a camp counselor or working with children at Yosemite National Park, Laureate Letters Tutoring’s founder, Sarah Steele, has always had a passion for supporting kids. When her own child began to take an interest in reading, Steele jumped at the chance to introduce him to the direct-instruction model, which is the same program she and the instructors now use at Laureate Letters. During sessions, instructors follow the text and steps in the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, using positive reinforcement to reward good work. Steele and her staff also work with parents to help them perpetuate the progress at home, ensuring kids establish a solid literary foundation and might one day grow up to be the first person to read on the moon.
It was a clear afternoon in Mission, British Columbia, when Walter Gyger climbed into his friend's Cessna 172. He’d spent his childhood constructing model airplanes and dreaming of stepping into the pilot's seat of a real one. The two lifted off, the ground dropping smoothly away, and soared on into the evening, finally touching down on Vancouver Island. That experience spurred Walter on to seek out his pilot license. Years later, after taking classes at Trade Winds Aviation, he bought the company. Walter now works with a team of FAA-certified flight instructors to give budding pilots that same push he received to pursue the dream of flying and pilot certification.
Trade Winds' two-runway airport and adjacent training area sit surrounded by ridges splashed with watercolor blotches of green, which pilots-in-training survey from wide cockpit windows as they follow the official Cessna training program. Students set their own pace as they progress through lessons in cross-country flight, night flying, and navigation, all augmented by online training, practical flight sessions, and heckling from birds. When not guiding pupils through the valley's consistently clear skies, the staff help maintain Trade Winds' fleet of Cessna and Remos aircraft, many of which have features such as satellite radio, autopilot, GPS maps, and spare commas for absent-minded skywriters.
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 to firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chest. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids to 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 they can help students to wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
At School of American Kenpo, third-degree black belt Ron Hickey calls on 15 years of martial-arts training to instill each student with not only strength and technique, but also character, confidence, and inner peace in every class he leads. Though the roots of traditional American Kenpo run deep in the studio, Hickey encourages his students to blaze their own trails in their development in the martial art. From four-year-old fighters just starting out to older athletes with hopes of achieving a black belt, School of American Kenpo seeks to help every student achieve their personal, fitness, and self-defense goals.
Christina Hoppner has fond memories of learning the American Sign Language alphabet in middle school. When her daughter was born, these memories inspired her to study sign language as a way to bond with her new baby. Her program of choice, known as My Smart Hands, was created by Laura Berg to help children develop literacy. Now Christina is a certified instructor for this PTPA-awarded system.
Babies typically can gesture before they speak, and they learn how to use the gestures to get what they want from grown-ups. Parents can use this natural behavior to help them learn specific signs that help them communicate clearly. To that end, Christina teaches songs and games that help both parents and their children sign everyday words, such as "bedtime," "doggy," and "fiscal responsibility."
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.