After purchasing his first DSLR camera, Gary Detonnancourt made the common mistake of investing in expensive equipment before learning to use what he already had. Eventually realizing that his gear was only as good as his understanding of it, he became a self-made expert in the art of digital photography. He went on to become president of the Northern Rhode Island Camera Club, and he now draws on years spent as a science teacher to explain to students how light works and why shining a laser pointer on something is hilarious. That same experience has caused him to apply a hands-on philosophy in workshops and online programs as well as lessons in studio photography, fine-art printing, and Photoshop. The shutterbug also appears at weddings to capture special-day grins, and portraits of young children beg for space in photo albums next to teddy bear–hunting licenses.
Hundreds of cars roll off the production line each day, with little to distinguish one sedan or SUV from another. That’s where the auto enthusiasts at Inferno Audio come in. They outfit vehicles with all the tricks and toys necessary to help them stand out—a list that includes custom subwoofers, window tints, and remote starters that keep interior temperatures comfortable throughout the year. They back up every job with a lifetime warranty and make themselves available for questions via text message or live chat in case an ejector seat fails to jettison an irritating passenger.
Throughout the past three decades martial artist Bob Salisbury has dabbled in an array of martial arts styles—shaolin kempo karate and taekwondo, to name a few—but his specialty is kosho ryu kempo. At his studio, RI Fitness & Martial Arts, he and his staff teach this and other martial arts styles to students of all ages. Their adult classes focus on improving self-defense techniques, whereas youth classes focus on boosting self-esteem. Meanwhile, cardio kickboxing, boot camp, and kettlebell training classes can also help students pack a stronger punch and or whittle their way into a size smaller black belt.
Within the multihued walls of Kidville’s indoor playland, tykes expand their minds, network with members of their peer group, and deplete their vast energy reserves. Babies, toddlers, and kids 6 or younger delve into classes developed by Kidville’s early-childhood-development gurus. Burgeoning Beethovens can swivel their hips, flex their sing-along muscles, and edit their massive music manuscripts during one of Kidville’s music and dance classes, or enlist in one of the art classes to create a piece that captures their inner rage toward broccoli. Fun and fit gym classes let tots run, roll, and hover through gauntlets of plush blocks and spongy play mats. Clasping hands and scampering legs can also roam freely through Kidville’s sprightly indoor playspace, though all munchkins must be supervised by a parent, guardian, or trustworthy primate.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers 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 a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-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. Camps and 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.