When she’s not teaching creative writing or crafting award-winning songs, Kate Callahan helps high school seniors channel their own creativity into college essays. A 12-year artist-in-residence in West Hartford public schools, Kate walks students through essay-writing step-by-step, from brainstorming to revision. Along the way, she shows pupils how to incorporate creative elements into their pieces, such as dialogue or building suspense. For students who already have an essay ready, Kate happily makes content or grammar suggestions during her one-on-one Skype or in-person sessions. Along with seniors, she extends her services to juniors, who can develop and refine their pieces a full year ahead of the application grind in senior year.
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At Kids U, upbeat instructors camouflage learning as playtime. They invite youngsters and parents into a kid-size gym that jump starts imagination with vibrant colors and a multitiered PlayQuad. The 17-foot playground spans 2,000 square feet of indoor space, where children explore tunnels and soar in swings. At classes, teachers inject freestyle play with structure while still allowing for creativity. The small, laid-back sessions cover subjects that range from gymnastics to cooking and building with LEGOs, all while interweaving themes such as teamwork and motor skills. The instructors pioneer similar subjects in three-hour day camps, molded around the Summer Olympics. Kids U's parties combine the fun center's two signature styles of recreation—freestyle fun in the PlayQuad and ordered activities—according to chosen themes, which, like concepts kicked around for the White House Correspondents' dinner, include Rock Star and Pajama Party.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Mathnasium's Test Prep programs are individualized to each student's level and
needs. Unlike group classes, we focus on what
each student needs to know to do his or her best. We work on test taking strategies but also know that the best way to ace the SAT or ACT is to know the math.
Do you provide any materials? What should your students expect to bring?
We use Mathnasium's proprietary materials for assessments and lessons. We also encourage students to bring a copy of the SAT or ACT official publications in order to work on practice tests.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Students do best in school and on exams when they are confident and comfortable with the material. The Mathnasium Method helps students reach their potential. Knowing that we can help students meet their goals and achieve their dreams is the best reward.
What do you love most about your job?
When we see the confidence and success that our students achieve, we know that we have made a real difference in their ability to fulfill their dreams. Whether students plan to pursue careers in math and the sciences or go in a completely different direction, we are thrilled to help get them there.
Head instructor Camila Gabriel first fell in love with teaching before she even went to college, when she worked as a swimming instructor at the YMCA. She fell in love with her students and while at school, did everything she could to get back into the classroom. Today, Camila and her fellow teachers help students of all ages succeed in the classroom through tutoring and classes.
Since 2002, Rock House's system of musical instruction—which comprises DVDs, books, and Web-based lesson support—has helped aspiring rock stars to master strumming guitars, plucking basses, and tickling keyboards to a variety of different genres. Several renowned blues, rock, and metal artists have participated in the Rock House program, including members of Megadeth, The Gary Hoey Band, and Parliament-Funkadelic. In addition to their training materials, Rock House also certifies instructors at local music centers so they can conduct one-on-one private lessons tailored to enhancing students' strengths and neutralizing their weaknesses, such as the inability to destroy a guitar on the first smash.