One fish peeks out inquisitively from behind a lichen-covered tank. Others swim through the windows and railings of a sunken ship, passing odd artifacts such as an electric guitar or a sign reading "Tricycle parking only." Surreal scenes like these aren’t accessible to most landlubbers, but they’re part of a worldwide subaquatic playground for Dive Right In’s students and staff of certified dive instructors and instructor trainers. An SDI, ERDi, and TDI five-star instructor training facility, the shop is helmed by teachers who coach their customers to achieve RTSC standards, and employ many of the same skills they use to train police, fire department, and lifeguard dive teams.
Among the caves and wrecks of local quarries and Lake Michigan, instructors prepare their trainees to dive down as far as 60 feet, the farthest depth at which they can guarantee there’ll be no sea monsters. They also lead courses in TDI technical diving, diver First-Aid, and specialty certifications such as adventure or rescue diver. Inside the dive shop, techs sell and repair masks, snorkels, wetsuits, and gear such as dive computers, regulators, and tanks.
If you've ever marveled at a photo of a NASA space shuttle as it rockets into the stratosphere, chances are you're looking at the work of Frank Jackowiak. The expert photographer counts NASA among the many clients for whom he captures inimitable images. Others—including Canon, Chrysler, Nikon, Sears, EAA- Experimental Aircraft Association, and Air & Space— have led him to hone the expert skills he now uses to guide fledgling shutterbugs at his Naperville studio. Here, Jackowiak taps into his experiences teaching college courses to teach students how to work their digital or manual cameras, starting with basic camera operation, and progressing to topics such as composition, lighting, and squeezing one eye shut. In doing so, he also helps unearth each student's inner artist, encouraging them to pursue whichever type of photography inspires them most.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. Afterschool or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students wow college-admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
Four Things About Big Run Wolf Ranch
When it comes right down to it, Big Run Wolf Ranch exists for one reason: to protect animals that can no longer live in the wild and otherwise would have been euthanized. It also works to educates visitors on the importance of these animals (even annoying ones such as skunks and coyotes) to our ecosystem. Here are a few things to know before you drop in on the ranch:
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Yes, they have all of those. The ranch’s specialty, however, is wolves, of which it has about 10. There are also skunks, porcupines, coyotes, a groundhog, and a horse.
The ranch is only open to the public on “Family Days.” These occur about once a month, allowing visitors up-close and personal visits with the animals via scheduled presentations. If you’d like to come on another day, Big Run Wolf Ranch offers private presentations (minimum of 25 people) and, for kids, birthday parties (for up to 16 people).
The ranch is federally licensed. That means the ranch, which is also a non-profit operation, must follow strict standards to ensure each animal is properly fed and cared for. The president of the ranch has himself been licensed for 30 years.
Onsite camping is available. Bring out a tent for a night or weekend of sleeping in the wild. Don’t get too excited (or freaked out), though—campers won’t be amid the wild animals. Camping packages include a guided tour, a fire pit with firewood, a portable restroom, and water. If you’re lucky, you may even hear the wolves baying at the moon.
Signature service: Kevin O'Connell Photography
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
Pro Tip: Bring your own camera; a tripod would be very helpful, but not required
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 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 and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.