Stop Hunger Now distributes food and other life-saving aid to provide hunger relief to developing countries around the world. Through its meal-packaging program, volunteers package high protein, dehydrated meals for use in crisis situations, school feeding programs, and orphanages around the world. Its partner organizations note increased enrollment in schools that receive these meals, ensuring that more children receive a quality education in addition to a healthful meal. Stop Hunger Now hosts meal-packaging events to prep food for recipients, during which 40–50 volunteers can typically package 10,000 meals in two hours.
South Main Speedway lets customers mix and match rounds of mini golf and go-kart racing to fashion a full day of family-friendly recreation. Clamber into a one- or two-seater speed machine to race friends, loved ones, and renegade Mario Kart characters for 15 ferocious laps around the Speedway’s sinuous track (a $6 value/race). Then, head to the outdoor putt-putt course (a $6 value/game) to send dimpled balls skittering past squat shrubs, plashing waterfalls, and nostalgic windmill operators into 18 waiting holes. The Groupon's eight games or races can be parceled out to multiple people on a single day, facilitating bonding within families or semipro hide-and-seek teams. Afterward, venture outside to browse The Factory's complex of shops, restaurants, and sports facilities.
Though many students come to Mathnasium having fallen behind their classmates, a mathematically advanced child sparked the learning program’s creation. As founder Larry Martinek’s young son, Nic, developed an appetite for higher-level math concepts, Larry found himself developing an entirely new teaching language to explain them in an age-appropriate way. The kind of instincts he sought to build up couldn’t be nurtured by drills and rote memorization. Instead, they required a deeper understanding of the principles at the root of mathematical operations, delivered in a way that grade-school kids could apply throughout their academic careers.
In just a decade’s time, Larry and his team have established Mathnasium centers in most U.S. states and more than a dozen other countries. At each, tutors who earned a 700 or higher on the math portion of the SAT develop custom learning plans for students in grades K–12 based on The Mathnasium Method. The system combines an education strategy of conceptual, tactile, and visual techniques with a curriculum structure that ensures kids can count, think proportionally, and tell the difference between a multiplication sign and a plus sign by scent alone. Tutors allow some time each session to help students with the concepts in their math homework, and the centers regularly check report cards and standardized tests as further measures of progress.
No Girls Allowed. It’s sign often seen on boys’ treehouses and a feeling women often get at the gym. Ladies Fitness & Wellness aims to wipe away those feelings of unease by cultivating a supportive women-only environment where all ages and sizes can achieve their fitness goals during group classes or on modern cardio equipment and free weights. The more than 35 types of fitness classes include kettlebell, jump rope, yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. All of them keep heart rates up as women bond over the experience.
Bridal Bootcamp gives women a customized fitness program including personal-training sessions, meal plans, and weekly fitness coaching to help brides-to-be feel confident in their dresses and double backflip into their reception.
Since 1968, Jerry’s Artarama has assisted artists through every phase of the creative process, including furnishing their studios with art supplies and finishing off their completed artwork with custom-framing services. They stock their shelves with student- and professional-grade supplies, including Winsor & Newton’s high-value Winton line of beginners’ oil colors and Williamsburg handmade paints. The framing department, meanwhile, keeps a wide range of mats, moulding, and glass on hand to create lavish homes for fine artwork or simple enclosures for family photos and important receipts.
Granite Falls Swim and Athletic Club’s members gain unbridled access to a 60,000-square-foot paradise of fitness and recreation, where indoor aerobics classes, sporting activities, and poolside recreation await individuals and families of all persuasions. When not absorbed by reality shows and C-SPAN soap operas on the exercise machines’ cardio cinemas, members can take lethargy to task in a range of aerobics, yoga, and Pilates classes hosted in the gym’s lower-level studios. Just next door, a competition-size pool opens its warm, watery arms with eight lanes and 25 yards dedicated to backstroke battles, recreational splish-splashes, and swim-aerobics classes (included with membership). An outdoor waterpark complex ups the aquatic ante with its large pool, lazy river, and a “Big Dipper” slide that momentarily shoots children into outer space for play dates with extraterrestrials. A separate KidZone area ($2.50/hour a child) staffed by highly trained professionals keeps tykes entertained with safe and stimulating activities while their parents hit the gym. The club also hosts special programs and summer camps for children, such as a Gym and Swim class for kids ages 4–7 and cootie self-defense courses for kids of all ages.