FABULOUS AFTER-SCHOOL, WEEKEND AND SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS ARE SOME OF THE BEST KEPT SECRETS IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA. THE FOLLOWING BUSINESSES COME HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY PARENTS BECAUSE THEY HELP CHILDREN IMPROVE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE, INCREASE SELF-ESTEEM, LEARN NEW SKILLS AND HAVE LOADS OF FUN!
KIDS WHO LOVE STEM
If your children love science, technology, engineering and math, check out these programs which include hands-on learning modules, built-it-yourself kits and friendly tech competitions.
The Youth Knowledge Enrichment Center/T.Y.K.E.
The T.Y.K.E. curriculum uses the “light on lecture – long on lab” approach to engage children in activities that augment what they are learning in school. “Our mission at TYKE is to help children build confidence in STEM subjects by letting them experiment and explore,” says Steven Ross, Executive Director of the center. Ross also offers scholarships to get underprivileged children excited about careers in STEM fields. Ages: Elementary and Middle School.
The Children’s Science Center Lab
Located within Fair Oaks Mall, the Lab provides museumquality, hands-on exhibits and STEM learning experiences. There are multiple areas for exploration including the Experiment Bar which features rotating menu of experiments, Inspiration Hub where children can see real-world applications of STEM, Tinker Shop, a space for participating in open-ended engineering design challenges and Discovery Zone for children five and under. The Lab also includes a flex-space for workshops, camps and parties. Ages: Preschool and Elementary School.
KIDS WHO NEED HELP GETTING ORGANIZED
Effective note-taking, time management, planning, organization, prioritization, task initiation and other “executive functioning” skills can have a huge impact on a child’s academic success and self-esteem. These coaching companies teach kids how to learn.
Illuminos coaches provide in-home, one-to-one coaching and tutoring services for students who are not performing to their fullest potential. Illuminos founder Evan Weinberger says, “Our coaching programs are so successful because we integrate new routines and skills into existing schedules, homework, school and activities.” Ages: Middle and High School.
“In order for bright children to become successful and independent students, they need to learn a study system that helps them process the work they get in school,” says Debbie Rosen, Founding Partner of The StudyPro. This center-based program offers study skills training courses, parent workshops, student coaching sessions and a comfortable homework center where students get their work done. Ages: Middle and High School.
KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Neuro-atypical children benefit from enrichment activities that cater to their unique developmental and physical needs. These programs are designed for children with learning exceptionalities. Loudoun County Parks and Recreation Services “Adaptive Recreation” (loudoun.gov/adaptiverec) – The Loudoun Parks and Rec Adaptive Recreation program offers a wide range of activities throughout the year for children with mild to severe disabilities, including children who are medically fragile.
Classes and events include aquatics, movies, sports, theater, outdoor adventures and trips to area attractions. Ages: Preschool, Elementary, Middle, High School.
We Rock the Spectrum
This new children’s play gym provides “sensory-safe play” for all children. Trampolines, tunnels, a craft table, a carpet swing and a zip line create a fun and social space where children can make friends, improve their skills and just be. “This is not just a place for the children,” says the owner Anjali Gulati. “It’s also a place where families come together.” Opening late spring 2017. Ages: Preschool, Elementary School.
KIDS WHO LIKE VARIETY
Bright children need constant stimulation in order to develop optimally. They often appear to flit from activity to activity… soaking up everything along the way. These children prefer programs that offer a wide range of rooms, instructors and activities to keep their minds and bodies busy.
The Pavilion at Bean Tree Learning
This state-of-the-art, 28,500 square foot addition to Bean Tree Learning’s original Ashburn campus includes so many activity centers that even the busiest children won’t get bored. Rooms include a tech hub, an art studio, a regulation size gymnasium, a cooking lab, a performance stage and a comfy homework lounge with study corrals and couches. “We offer a fully accredited curriculum, before/after school care and full day Kindergarten. We also offer 60 specialty and adventure camps so there is something for every child,” says Jennifer Bower, Founder of Bean Tree Learning. Age: Preschool, Elementary School.
Children’s Learning Adventure
This brand-new facility near One Loudoun features a 40,000-square foot playground, a bowling alley, a computer lab, an expansive library, a theater with a stage, a culinary cove, art classes and a gymnasium. “Although the building is large, the classroom settings are intimate and our students get individualized attention,” says Daniel Petersen, Vice President of Development. Age: Preschool, Elementary School.