In the late 1970s, career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's particular set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York and New Jersey.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality, encouraging pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
Although the Boys & Girls Clubs ask that families pay an annual membership of $24, no child is ever turned away due to an inability to pay. The majority of students who participate in the Boys & Girls Clubs’ afterschool programming qualify for free and reduced lunches, meaning their families have limited incomes. Scholarships will help provide more students with a safe, beneficial environment after school.
In the world of reality TV, it can be hard to separate fact from scripted sensationalism. But with Ghost Tracker Ghost Tours, visitors can see firsthand how the investigators on Ghost Tracker TV gauge the paranormal activity of reputed hauntings, and will even get to help document the spooky goings-on. Using the tools showcased on the screen—including EMF readers and K2 meters—tour-goers track the level of paranormal activity at 5–7 haunted sites, all while listening to their guide recount stories of the old court house or the hanging tree. During their 90 minutes of ghost hunting, guests maintain a leisurely pace while covering less than a mile of ground, allowing them ample time to peer around with cameras for spectral images that can’t be seen with the human eye. Some tours may be filmed for the show, so guests may be asked to sign a waver in order to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame.
When Amy, a little girl with leukemia, was unable to fulfill her wish to visit Orlando’s theme parks before she passed away, hotelier Henri Landwirth vowed that he’d never let a child in need’s wish go unfilled again. So he enlisted his colleagues in the hospitality and theme-park industries to help him make his vow a reality. His idea, Give Kids The World, expanded to a 70-acre resort village with more than 140 villa accommodations for wish children and their families, plus entertainment attractions and fun activities specially designed for children with special needs. The organization works with wish-granting organizations, such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, to fulfill any wishes to visit Orlando-area theme parks. In 2011, more than 7,000 wish children and their families from all 50 states and 25 countries visited the resort for a cost-free vacation.
The nationally accredited Kissimmee Main Street program hopes to revitalize Kissimmee's downtown and preserve its history for future generations, as well as make it a place where residents want to go for shopping and dining. The nonprofit does this by hosting a farmer's market on Tuesday evenings and by running a welcome station where visitors can grab information on local shops and restaurants and receive several warm hand shakes. Kissimmee Main Street also puts on special events. These include everything from a food- truck bazaar to a sculpture pub crawl, during which participants view works of art on the street and in galleries while stopping at various food and drink spots.
Dade City's Wild Things puts visitors within 3 feet of most of its menagerie, which includes more than 200 animals on exhibit. Botanical gardens blanket the zoo's 22-acre expanse, providing a scenic backdrop for creatures such as a tiger, lion, lemur, bear, and baboon. Separated from most animals by a few feet, a chain-link fence, and the ability to knit socks out of their own fur, opposable-thumbed guests can explore the animal offerings by walking tour or tram ride. Dade City's Wild Things further upholds its aim to connect people with animals by offering opportunities for close cross-species interaction, such as feeding buffalo in grazing fields on the Jungle Safari Ride, swimming with a tiger, or reserving an animal encounter, which provides a chance for visitors to interact one-on-one with a choice of critters including a zebra foal, gator hatchling, and African pygmy-goat kid.