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Special Section

Education Focus

October 2013

Health & Wellness • Sponsored Section

July 2013 2

SPONSORED SECTION | | October 2013

Quality learning located near you in Cumming Kids ‘R’ Kids Schools of Quality learning, located at 3036 Old Atlanta Road in Cumming, is an excellent quality childcare facility that combines learning with playing. From the well-trained staff members to the innovative

school, children are given the opportunity to explore the world around them, establishing the basis for their future learning experiences. Infants through school age children can learn and play in the spacious school which includes: a

cafeteria, playgrounds with age appropriate equipment, computer lab, library, water park, large covered patio, smart board technology, and much more! At every stage of your child’s journey, Kids ‘R’ Kids develops new and challenging

ways to open the mind and expand the imagination – it’s what we call Smart Fun. Our foundation of love and trust is accompanied every step of the way by our teachers, parents and peers. Kids ‘R’ Kids now includes private Playball, Fun Bus, Soccer, Robotics, Chess,

We believe that happy, loved and connected children are destined for success in every facet of their lives.

Ballet and Tap Lessons. Regardless of your need, whether full time, part time, after school care, or seasonal camps, Kids ‘R’ Kids is the place for your child.

Education Focus • Sponsored Section

October 2013 3

Life-long passion for dance becomes career Life-long dancer Niki Jernigan-Watkins had a dream of turning her passion and talent for dance into a teaching career and bringing the magic of dance alive for others. Driven by her passion and talents, Miss Niki as she’s fondly known by students, is realizing that dream for a sixth year running as the owner and artistic director of Cumming Dance Academy. Given her professional history and accolades for performance and teaching, it’s no surprise that Cumming Dance Academy has succeeded with Miss Niki

A tasty way to promote reading (NAPSI)—While a good breakfast can help kids get a great start to the day, books can help keep their minds active all day long. Yet more than two-thirds of children living in poverty don’t have any books at home1. To help support childhood literacy, Frosted Mini-Wheats and other Kellogg’s brands are joining with Scholastic to help families earn free books and put 200,000 books into the hands of children in need through the charity Books for Kids. Recently, children’s book author, actor and father Taye Diggs demonstrated his support by creating a public service announcement to raise awareness about childhood literacy. Diggs explains how families can earn free books for their home libraries and provide books to kids in need. “This is such an important cause for me, especially as a dad, because I know the impact that reading can have on young minds,” said Diggs. There are two ways to support children’s literacy: 1. You can collect the Great

Starts Great Stories codes from participating Kellogg’s products to receive a free book or “gift” a book to a school in need through the charity Books for Kids. 2. You can also visit www. to participate in Frosted MiniWheats Mini™ Missions. Visitors can earn two free books monthly while supplies last, as well as enter a sweepstakes2 to win Scholastic books and grants for their school and community. 1RIF study, 2010. 2Official rules are available at

at the helm. A marker of the academy’s success came in 2009 when Cumming Dance Academy’s new facility opened. The 7,000 square-foot facility located at 419 Tribble Gap Road in Cumming affords the academy more space for staff, students, and parents. In 2012, CDA continued to grow with the expansion of and new location of CDA II Performance Academy. Now in 2013, CDA is home to 6 studios and offers over 220 classes per week! Cumming Dance Academy is a place of instruction for both serious and recreational

dancers and offers classes for children from 18 months to adult. CDA classes are led by a professional staff with decades of experience and impressive performance credits. CDA has many performance groups for the more dedicated dancers, that include “Miss Niki’s Elite Performance Classes”, Jr. Apprentice Company, Jr. Company and Sr. Company. For more information on CDA – please visit our website at and follow us on facebook at: cummingdanceacademy

Education Focus • Sponsored Section

October 2013 4

Tinkering with robots improves playtime Sets kids up for future careers (NAPSI)—The phrase “child’s play” means something very different today than it did 10 years ago. According to a report by the Institute for the Future called “Transformative Changes for Children at Play,” from 1981 to 2003, young people had nine less hours of free time per week—and they’ve got even less today. Their time is spent online and on devices—with access to an average of 12 apps at all times— and they are visually literate, preferring things like YouTube video instruction over reading articles. For that reason, it’s important that children make the most of the playtime they do have, pursuing things that not only excite, engage and entertain, but that also make them think. “Today’s kids have different expectations about the interactivity of their toys and the ability to fluidly combine online and off-line experiences as they play. They are incorporating personal touches and design preferences into their playthings. Their desire for deep personalization and self-expression gets fulfilled when they are able to create their own toys,” said Lyn Jeffery, Institute for the Future research director. Tinkering with robots is a great way to give children the flexibility and creative control they crave. Robotics helps increase focus, improves fine motor and problem-solving skills, promotes independence, and builds confidence. To put it simply, in a interview, Javier Movellan, an associate professor affiliated with the University of California at San Diego’s Machine Perception Laboratory, said that robots can help “to raise happier and smarter children.” Since its launch in 1998, LEGO MINDSTORMS has been seen by fans as the pinnacle “smart toy.” In the 15 years since, the renowned platform has driven the growth of the consumer robotics category and helped inspire the Maker Movement by encouraging hands-on play and an unprecedented level of tinkering by leveraging the familiar medium of LEGO building. From the bricks themselves to programming software that mimics clicking behaviors together just like building a LEGO set, sophisticated robotics has become “child’s play.” As a result, the MINDSTORMS community quickly grew to over 50,000 members with over 15,000 creations, from a giant chess set to a

Finding the beauty in math Beauty in math? Really?

something? Never! It’s not fun. It requires NO creativity (unless you are using an acronym).

By: Kimberly Smith Co-Founder, Omega Learning Center Franchisor I know it sounds “hokey!” But what if… What if you could get your child to see math

pancake maker to a flying blimp. To newbies, the Maker Movement can be overwhelming. Here are some tips for getting children as young as 8 interested in tinkering: Get Inspired by the Big Dogs. Just as active kids look up to professional sports players, young makers can get stars in their eyes for the guys creating bots in their garages. Tinker Together. Spend a Saturday taking apart old printers or DVD players to see how things work-just make sure to set an example and promote safety first, only dismantling items you’re very familiar with. Join a Team. Hundreds of thousands of school and after-school teams take part in international engineering and robotics competitions each year, going head to head in fun robotics challenges that are educational, collaborative, social and fun. Find groups in your area at www. Build a Bot. Look for a versatile toolkit that fosters robotic tinkering, such as MINDSTORMS EV3. Redesigned to excite and challenge a generation that has grown up in a technology- and mobile-driven world, the set includes everything kids need to create and command robots that walk, talk, think and do just about anything they can imagine. Instructions for five hero models and 12 bonus models help kids get comfortable before they tinker on their own. You never know; what may start as a childhood hobby may blossom into a full-blown career. Many of today’s leading companies employ adults who grew up tinkering and credit their play experiences as the reason for their career passions.

It’s boring and ineffective beyond the test. The beauty of math is that it involves so little memorization — almost zero once you have mastered the multiplication tables. To help students understand the im-

differently. Just for a minute. Math ideas can

portance and beauty of mathematics, the

permeate our universe and beyond. Visually,

memorization paradigm needs to be smashed

math can surprise and enthrall. Perhaps the

and replaced by a problem solving framework

most fascinating is to think of infinity being

which is built upon a structure readily deriv-

harnessed by the finite. Time travel. Space.

able from existing knowledge. Problem solving

3-D Geometric figures that amaze us. Sadly,

skills must be encouraged at least as much as

kids are not exposed to the beauty of math in

memorization skills. We owe that much to all

school. It’s not the teachers fault. The class


sizes are so large, that they barely have the

Omega Learning Center offers tutoring

time and energy to get the basic concepts

K-12 and comprehensive math programs

across. Then the kids are left with homework

with proven results. Omega Learning

to “study” which is really memorize.  Few

Centers achieve results because of our AIM

avenues exist in our society to expose us to

Tutoring System.

mathematical beauty. Let’s face it. How often do we enjoy to sit down and just memorize

Education Focus • Sponsored Section

October 2013 5

106 years of purpose, integrity and character For over 106 years Riverside Military Academy has produced young men of purpose, integrity, and character. We offer a traditional, Americanstyle education where personal values, honor, and love of country still matter. Riverside is not owned or operated by any particular religious denomination, but supports the spiritual and educational goals of all families. Upon graduation, a Riverside cadet has experienced the challenges of the military model of education and is completely prepared for the rigors of college. He is poised, polite, and confident in any social environment. Riverside cadets stand tall, offer a firm handshake, respect authority, and display a level of confidence that parents may not have observed previously. Cadets of Riverside Military Academy attend grades 7 through 12 and benefit from a small class size and a 15:1 student teacher ratio. Our entire educational program

centers around the way young men learn best. Riverside’s College Center assists cadets in preparing for and placing their college applications each year. The graduating class 2013 consisted of 95 cadets who were admitted to over 105 universities across the world and earned over $3.2 million in collegiate scholarships not including HOPE scholarship. Two graduating seniors were appointed to the U.S. Military Academy –West Point, an educational value of over $450,000 per cadet. Riverside Military Academy holds dual accreditation in SACS and SAIS. Our comprehensive program of rigorous academics, athletics and leadership development sets the stage for a lifetime of success. Riverside Military Academy is located on 206 acres on the shores of Lake Lanier in Gainesville, GA. For more information please visit our web site at www.riversidemilitary. com or contact our admissions office at 770-538-2938.

Montessori Kids Academy 3034 Old Atlanta Road 678-208-0774

Montessori Kids Academy provides a carefully prepared environment and experienced teachers to lay a strong educational foundation for your child. • SACS/CASI Accreditation • Montessori Certified / College Educated Teachers • Traditional Montessori Student Focused Curriculum

Inspiring the passion to excel McGinnis Woods Country Day School is a private, nonparochial school offering a challenging Preschool, Elementary and Middle Grades Education. The school is located in Alpharetta on the border of Forsyth and North Fulton counties. The Preschool accepts children as young as 6 weeks and the Elementary School teaches students in PreK 4 through 8th grade. McGinnis Woods Country Day School has top accreditations, including GAC, SACS and NAEYC. It is also a member of the Georgia Independent School Association. The mission of McGinnis Woods is to inspire students with the Passion to excel. This goal is accomplished by providing superior academics through hands-on, minds on approaches which foster self confidence and self esteem; inspiring a lifelong love of

learning. Small classes with low student-teacher ratios, allow for frequent one-on-one learning. Superior educational resources are implemented to maximize the classroom experience of our diverse student population. Frequent guest speakers, monthly field trips and community service round out the curriculum. Integrated use of Interactive Whiteboards, a school wide broadcast system, computer labs, laptops and tablets support the rigorous curriculum. Competitive Sports and Robotics teams train year round. After school programs and clubs are also available. Please join us at an Open House on Saturday, January 25 between 12 and 1 pm or visit to learn more. Tours are available upon request.

• Constructivist Model of Educating • Member of the American Montessori Society • Spacious Classrooms • Low Student to Teacher Ratio • Watch Me Grow Webcams in all Classrooms • Regular Field Trips • Indoor Cafe • Two Music Rooms and Learning Kitchen • School Library • Primary Includes: Spanish, Chinese, Music, Art, Cooking, and Gardening

Bring in this ad and receive

FREE registration

until January 15, 2014

• Elementary includes all the above and Chess & P.E. • Offering Pre-Primary (ages 18 months – 3 years), Primary (ages 3 – 6), Elementary Classes (1st – 3rd grade), (4th – 6th grade)


Education Focus • Sponsored Section

October 2013 6

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2013 Fall Education Focus

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