After studying gymnastics in Russia, coaching two world-class gymnasts, and leading the Puerto Rican team at the 1999 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, Al Garcia-Sanchez brought his three decades of experience to Kelbren Elite Gymnastics, where he's head coach. Now he and other instructors introduce kids as young as 1 year old to gymnastics. Students learn to master equipment such as the balance beam, vault, and rings, and Fitnastics classes augment backflip acumen with strength training and health tips.
John and Melissa Wood draw on their respective Master of Art Education and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees to train artists visiting their Unchartered Creativity studio. Intimate classes are offered to students of all skill levels in media ranging from wood burning and charcoal portraiture to still life drawing and painting. John and Melissa are always available during these lessons for personal coaching on techniques such as perspective and shading.
Sycamore Learning Company's founder and owner Patrick Minnihan estimates that he's helped more than 10,000 students with the SATs and ACTs over his decade as a tutor. Today, he leads a team of diverse instructors made up of professionals ranging from educators and ex-guidance counselors to former attorneys and leech trainers made obsolete by modern medicine. No matter what fields they come from, all of the company’s test prep pros have a deep understanding of the exams' unique requirements, helping students decode the mysteries of the Scantron during engaging tutoring sessions.
In 2011, single mother Ms. James juggled a job, college coursework, and an internship, which left scant funds to spare. But she didn't want her son to miss out on the extracurricular activities offered to his peers. That's why she founded Innovative Arts, Inc., where students from all walks of life can explore everything from Spanish to French to martial arts to science to cooking.
Sterling Learning focuses on imparting life skills to youngsters, especially those with special needs. The staff of special-education teachers offers both group classes that teach social skills and private instruction for cognitive, motor, and play skills, among others. As kids become teenagers, they can turn to Sterling Learning for help with job skills, and parents and agencies can also consult its professionals for help with curriculum development and individual education programs.
Eye Level Learning Center’s name draws its inspiration from the story of a teacher with a unique perspective. On a trip to the Smithsonian, a man would kneel down in front of each painting, attracting the attention of other visitors. Finally, when asked what he was doing, he replied, “I am an elementary-school teacher, and I will bring my students here tomorrow. I was wondering how my students would enjoy the paintings from a student’s eye level.” In that spirit, the tutors at this multidisciplinary learning center put the reins in their students' hands with their child-directed learning process, which ensures kids develop the skills they need at a pace they can handle, without getting bored enough to eat their homework and blame it on their dogs.
Young Chefs Academy provides a fun, safe, and motivating environment for kids to become acquainted with the art of food and food presentation. Engaging chef instructors instill lessons of kitchen etiquette and safety in youngsters growing up in a world full of laser can openers and sharp pasta rakes, giving children a capable handle on their surroundings as they journey into the land of food. Classes ($25–$35 each) educate a variety of age groups, with specially catered sessions for the kindercooks and junior chefs, combining nutritional meals with basic food-prep skills that teach how to correctly follow a recipe to edible fruition. Senior chefs can partake in advanced classes that dig deeper into kitchen secrets and hone specific skills and techniques that expand the parameters of cooking creativity, creating presentations so astute they beg to be stapled to the refrigerator door.