At more than 900 learning centers across the world, Sylvan offers kids a leg up through personalized, one-on-one programs prescribed by an in-depth skills assessment. Students build on past lessons to learn progressively, and sessions may hone in on different disciplines, granting kids the confidence to interpret literature and the rhetorical skills needed to negotiate a later bedtime. The positive mindset of personable, invested instructors helps to inspire kids to greater academic feats, as does a prize program that rewards hard work with CDs and gift cards.
Aud Pottery Studio's owner, Audrey Jaccard, helms three-hour classes designed to spark student creativity in the art of pottery. Jaccard begins by elucidating the finer points of clay wedging, which is the process of purging the clay of air bubbles that would otherwise fill with hot air in the kiln and float away. Inquiring noggins are then filled with the know-how to form teapots by pinching the clay. Students have the option of selecting a color glaze for their pieces at the end of the session. Leaving their stoneware creations in Jaccard's capable hands for glazing and kiln firing, students can later return to the studio to pick up their finished pieces, which can be brought home to share with friends and family or brought to UNESCO World Heritage sites for proper burials.
The experienced instructors at Innergy Fitness Systems create personalized fitness regimens that provide intense 30-minute conditioning workouts. Thirteen-plus years of health expertise funnels into these workouts, which accommodate exercisers of all fitness levels. Their compact Reaction camps boost endurance while torching calories in a fraction of the time of most workouts, leading to benefits ranging from reduced stress to improved physical performance. Team members invest themselves in their clients’ ability to succeed, providing nutritional guidance and support by offering healthy-eating suggestions that fit into clients' lifestyles.
Combining experience in lampworking, glass blowing, and jewelry design, the experienced glassblowers of Asheville Glass Center lead workshops and classes to share their passion for manipulating molten glass. The two- to three-hour intro courses teach neophytes to craft borosilicate marbles and soft glass beads, and more in-depth classes result in intricate implosion flowers and sand-cast solid forms. The center also offers open studio time for more experienced artists who wish to work alone, like the winningest three-legged racers.
The idea for an annual barbecue expo began slow-cooking in 2010 at a family lunch. The Boyds thought about organizing a little barbecue competition and ended up luring 8,500 barbecue enthusiasts to their "small" cook-off and fundraiser. Now in its third year, the charitable event continues to develop flavor and raise money for local schools while packing bellies with some of the area's best barbecue recipes.
With napkins in hand, attendees can follow the smoky scents and sounds of sauce-splattered high-fives from the tents of a variety of vendors. Ten teams of grilling gurus face off in a whole-hog cook-off, with the winners earning a cash prize and a spot in the state championship later this year. A new Chick-fil-A sauce competition sifts through the day's top toppings until a winner is crowned. Between bites, guests can also savor the festival's many attractions, including a police dog demonstration, a petting zoo, and a BMX bike show, where riders wow onlookers by performing tricks and bunny-hopping over smokers.
One of the first in the business of self-development, the origins of Nightingale Conant stretch back to World War II. Earl Nightingale was a serviceman assigned to the USS Arizona—and was one of only 100 to survive the attack on Pearl Harbor. Convinced he had been spared for a reason, Earl became obsessed with the secret of success. Why would one person find wealth and prosperity, another remain uneducated and penniless, and still another pay for everything in nickels? Late one night in 1956, Earl was struck with an idea, and woke up to write down what would become his biggest success: The Strangest Secret. In 1960, fellow WWII veteran Lloyd Conant joined forces with Nightingale, and the two formed Nightingale Conant, a global enterprise dedicated to disseminating positive psychology through radio, books, and now, the internet.