From Our Editors
Learning to build a robot. Learning a Bollywood dance routine. Learning to navigate the SAT. These seemingly unrelated topics are all covered during SMARTS Clubs' afterschool enrichment classes in an effort to help kids master not just an isolated subject matter, but the learning process itself. Unlike traditional tutoring, which focuses on specific assignments, the enrichment classes attack the root cause of academic challenges by building critical thinking, creativity, and key cognitive skills. This focus reflects the philosophy of the club's founder, Dr. Meenakshi Singh, an education expert whose experience runs the gamut from assistant college professor to substitute teacher. And her interdisciplinary background is reflected in her institute's classes and the principles that guide the classes. The methodology imparted at the clubs is based on five core concepts; training rather than tutoring, development of cognitive skills, focus on strategical problem-solving, and whole-brain learning which encourages kids to think outside of the box. Those elements are applied alongside mindful yoga that enables kids to learn how to unwind after a long day of working their brains. The subject matter ranges from directly school-related reading and math and science concepts to yoga, which develops focus and the most essential college skill, curling up small enough to fit in your dorm-room bed.