Dr. Henry Viscardi Jr. was born with shortened limbs. Not one to let his challenges define him, though, he worked to achieve his doctorate and went on to serve as the disability adviser to eight US presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter. Believing in children's ability to achieve greatness despite any obstacle, he founded The Viscardi Center in 1952. For the last half-century, the center has worked to educate and empower people with disabilities by providing education from prekindergarten to high school, school-to-work transition services, vocational training, and career counseling through a network of organizations.
A member of this network, the Henry Viscardi School was founded in 1962 and today teaches 180 children who have severe physical disabilities such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. These students learn in small groups of up to nine and study all of the state-mandated subjects, including science and math. The school maintains a host of medical supports, including communication devices, and the help of nurses and social workers, to ensure the children's safety, and it offers extended educational training in the form of postgraduate skills and summer instruction.
Steak and seafood stand out on Minnesota's Restaurant & Caterer's inventive menu. The former includes a 16-ounce Cowboy Ribeye served with Parmesan truffle fries, and the latter includes a linguini and lobster entree with tomato-basil butter sauce. Beyond those options, guests might indulge in a crab cake BLT, a tuna wrap, or a turkey burger with avocado.
The more than a dozen brick-and-mortar locations that make up Ultimate Champions Taekwondo Association share not only a style of combat, but a teaching philosophy as well. Tracing the lineage of their combative art back to Grandmaster Sang K. Oh, the instructors adhere to his teachings, exemplified by the quote, "The person who can defeat others with flashy techniques but is without love toward his fellow man will in the end defeat himself." Students use the physical empowerment of mastering jumps, kicks, and weapons to arm themselves with discipline, confidence, concentration, self-respect, and courtesy for others.
Outside of the classroom, the organization reaches out to the tri-state community with ample demonstrations of some of their most exciting techniques. Practitioners soar skyward in flying kicks or fill the air with the whirring blows of nunchakus, bos, and kamas. Fists slam through boards, balloons, and bricks to demonstrate the striking power of tae kwon do and the structural flaws in the Three Little Pigs' panic room.
Lil Athletes Sports' coaches introduce children ages three to five to activities and social interaction through fun, structured games. Children ages 20 months to five team up with similarly aged kids and experienced coaches to focus on the basics of soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and baseball. As kids become acquainted with their preferred game, they can try their hand at more complex maneuvers and team play, leading up to a real game against their fellow competitors. Not only does this approach ensure children have a firm grasp on how to play the game, it also fosters relationships with those around them and inspires them to continue playing sports as they grow. Sports trainers also host birthday parties that put the guest of honor in the spotlight while giving all guests opportunities to play in structured games.
Seasoned comedian and teacher Brad Trackman, whose resume boasts appearances on NBC, ABC, MTV, CBS, Spike TV and Comedy Central, guides burgeoning chuckle-inducers through the finer points of laugh acquisition in his four-hour workshop, Comedy A through Z. Students learn to develop and write for performance persona, as well as sharpen their wit and enhance their abilities to care for newborn microphones. In addition to leading students through material-crafting exercises, Trackman will sling out advice on the business of comedy and what it takes to pursue a career in it, including tips for acquiring representation and landing TV roles. Students will dissect the ins and outs of the standup circuit, as well as hone their joke-crafting skills by observing actual chickens crossing actual roads.