Sponsor Spotlight: Tutoring & STEM training at Sylvan Learning Center in Northwest Arkansas

Sylvan Learning Center, one of our new sponsors here, is passionate about helping kids not only get on grade level — or get a leg up — but also about the whole child. Here’s an interview with the local director in Rogers, Kathy Scott:

Q: How important has Sylvan Learning Center been to the students and parents in Northwest Arkansas?

Learning should be personal, and at Sylvan, it is. We do our best to help every child reach their academic potential!

We use a proven, four-step approach to teach kids how to learn in a personal way, so they build their confidence and get inspired to do extraordinary things. Our program is unique to Northwest Arkansas and we have been very beneficial to the many parents and students who have come to us for help.

Q: How long has Sylvan been open here?

We first opened our doors in Rogers on June 1, 2015.

Since then, we have helped students from Fayetteville, Gravette, Springdale, Pea Ridge, Rogers, and Bentonville! Our goal is for students to achieve their goal!

Q: Tell us about your teachers/tutors:

Our teachers come from diverse backgrounds; but have several things in common: they are all certified teachers, and have a love of helping kids.

Our upper level math instructors must pass a rigorous exam process to be certified through Sylvan also. This is where it gets exciting! We combine personal instruction with digital tools into an instructional system called SylvanSync. It lets our teachers focus their energy on guiding, motivating and encouraging our students in a way that makes learning personal, rewarding and fun.

Q: We know Sylvan offers math/reading/writing tutoring. What’s going on this summer?

Sylvan STEM programs are offered throughout the year. Our Coding classes introduce kids to programming skills by building projects such as comic design, animation, and even game design. Our Robotics classes teach kids to build and program sophisticated robots.  It helps teach advanced problem solving and engineering skills in a fun, creative environment. We offer classes monthly as after school programs and we offer several summer day camps.

Q: We also love that you help keep students’ brains engaged in the summer to help prevent the dreaded “summer slide”. Tell us about Sylvan’s Math Edge program happening this summer:

Our Math Edge and Upper Level Math Edge programs allow students to boost their speed and accuracy and master math in a fun and friendly way.

We offer low cost monthly memberships where students come two hours a week. Our Edge classes include Basic Math Skills, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2.

Q: We know that Sylvan focuses on all aspects of the individual child, not just the reading/math help they need. Why is it important to help boost their self confidence, too?

Self-confidence is so important to a child’s learning. We often see low confidence tied to low scores and comments like “I can’t” with defeated looks.

As a student’s confidence in their ability to learn grows, we see a direct correlation between time spent on learning and grades. Students develop an “I can do this” belief in themselves, which translates to better scores, more self-esteem, and a brighter outlook in school.

Q: Tell us about your ACT prep classes:

Our ACT Prep classes run throughout the year and are aligned with national ACT test dates. ACT classes are small so seating is limited.  We have worked with students as young as 14; but our primary age groups are 11th and 12th graders.

The focus in our classes is on reading, math, science and English. Students learn ACT test taking strategies, do practice problems, and learn how to analyze the ACT questions and test. They also have access to our online counterpart, which allows them to practice on their own at home.

Q: What about students who need an assessment to see if they’re above grade level, on grade level or below? How can you help?

Sylvan Insight Assessments gives us insight into a student you won’t get anywhere else. It includes a skills assessment with a computer adaptive test that pinpoints a student’s strengths and needs.

Our Sylvan Observations where we evaluate a student’s abilities in oral reading, writing and basic math operations. Finally, it has a student Self-Assessment where we take into account a student’s habits and attitudes toward school, measuring things like academic self-confidence, perseverance and school engagement which can affect performance.

Our assessments allow us to identify the root cause of a student’s problem and allow us to build a personalized program to help fix the issue quickly and efficiently. The assessment shows us exactly what we need to teach our students so they become proficient in the skill and build their self-confidence. After the initial assessment, we meet with parents and go over their child’s results, including a nationally rated scaled score and a grade level equivalency score, so that they can make an informed decision on their child’s needs.

Q: What should parents do if they’re interested in a Sylvan program?

We offer many programs at Sylvan with a variety of affordable payment options and personalized payment plans.

For anyone wanting more information, they can call us at 479-903-7210; email us at info@sylvannwa.com; or drop by and see us in the Kingston Plaza shopping center. Our Fall/Winter hours are: Monday through Friday 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.