Page 44


Sharon Estroff


CHALLENGE ISLAND® WAS BORN FROM OUT-OF-THE-BOX THINKING and innovation, and the franchise teaches those same traits. Originally launched as an afterschool program, Challenge Island has a curriculum designed to excite kids about learning. CEO and founder Sharon Estroff, a former teacher, developed the concept as a way to engage students. Inspired by her favorite reality TV show, Estroff had an epiphany back in 2002. She wondered, “What if I turn the classroom into an island, divide students into tribes and create challenges that promote higher-level thinking?” She tested her concept as an after-school enrichment program, and it was an immediate hit. Today Challenge Island is a rapidly growing franchise operation that attracts various kinds of investors, including teachers. Estroff personally creates and constantly adds to the curriculum, which incorporates science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). While having fun, kids develop important life skills such as collaboration, compromise, resilience, and critical thinking. The hundreds of themed lessons, “Fantastic Fiction,” “The Cat in the Hat Challenge,” and “Mythology Challenge,” for example, target specific age groups. Estroff is passionate about her business and looks to partner with investors who love children and want to make a difference. “At Challenge Island, we consider the needs of both the child of today and the adult of the future,” she says. “For today’s kids, we offer whimsical, engaging journeys into new worlds of adventure and imagination; a welcome reprieve from the increasingly digitalized 44


Profile for franchisedictionarymagazine

FDM_February 2019