In Bricks 4 Kidz hands-on programs, kids can learn to build anything from a motorized amusement park to a duck. But the building blocks aren't real bricks—they're LEGO blocks. Each of the company's summer camps, after-school classes, and birthday parties center around building themed LEGO model plans, designed by engineers and architects. By building structures that fit a zoo theme or a Minecraft theme—or by creating Lego scenes for stop-motion animation—kids learn science and math, teamwork, and problem solving skills, while having fun and getting their masters in LEGO architecture along the way.
The Rockwell County program is helmed by husband and wife team Kevin and Natalie Shepherd, who share a passion for educating children in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. To lead the program they utilize Natalie's background in counseling and play therapy, Kevin's knowledge as a practicing engineer, and their experiences parenting their daughter Sydney.
While many people might only think to use lasers to thwart tuxedo-wearing spies, Rockwall Laser Center uses them to help clients feel beautiful and confident?tuxedo or not. There, a staff of technicians?all of whom are certified by the Texas Department of State Health Service and most of whom are Certified Senior Laser Technicians?uses versatile lasers to remove unwanted hair, fight the signs of aging, and treat acne. The crew are also experts at removing unwanted tattoos, having removed a staggering 40,000 by 2013. The center's services also extend beyond the beam. During micro-needling therapy, aestheticians use a cartridge filled with precisely spaced, microscopic needles to create tiny perforations in the skin that jump-start healing processes, thereby helping to firm skin, soften fine lines, and banish little-brother cooties.
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 firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids 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 wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
By engaging children on their own level, the teachers at Kids R Kids childcare center and learning academy recognize their students for what they really are: developing brains trapped inside tiny, perfectly spherical heads. The programs hew to a philosophy of "Hug First, Then Teach," meaning they encourage a child's development on an emotional, intellectual, social, and physical level. Also essential to their teaching approach is family involvement—when new skills are introduced, the instructors make sure the parents know about the approach and aren't politically opposed to arithmetic.
They rely on their own curriculum, Brain Waves, which takes a neurologically based approach that combines educational lessons with good nutrition, regular sleep schedules, and secure relationships. Additionally, the Brain Waves curriculum helps develop brains with many forms of language (including sign language) and exposure to technology in a controlled environment.
The Arts and Technology Institute readies kids for the digital age by equipping them with multimedia skills during hands-on, project-based classes that encourage creative thinking. During the encouraging lessons, a highly qualified instructor shows children ages 6?15 how to program games to play on an Xbox or computer, navigate 3-D modeling software, and design and build robots they can swap in for younger siblings. Whether they?re making a movie or creating digital art, students learn to problem solve, work as a team, and think outside the box. In addition to regularly scheduled course, ATI invites youth into afterschool and homeschool programs, and welcomes older pupils into a continuing-education program that can supplement art and technology learning at the high-school and college levels.