Washington Family Magazine : November 2015
washingtonFAMILY.com November 2015 29 Jonathan was attending sessions at Empowered Learning Transformation Center (ELTC) three times a week over the summer, but has cut back to twice a week now because school has started. He’s a freshman in high school and is on the freshman football team, so his schedule is pretty busy. Speaking of school, summer and football, I wanted to share some anecdotal evidence of how impressed I am with ELTC Co-Founder, Peter Riddle, and the other counselors. Jonathan was assigned summer reading for school, and was dragging his feet about reading the book. As you parents can relate, I was constantly nagging him to complete it – something neither of us were enjoying. One of the counselors heard me mention this and had a chat with Jonathan. He reinforced the fact that I shouldn’t have to remind him to read the book and it was his responsibility. He told Jonathan he was going to hold him accountable and check back with him during the week to make sure he was making progress. He assigned Jonathan a certain number of pages to read per day, and sure enough, called him during the week to monitor his progress. I was so impressed and thankful. The counselors really go above and beyond for their students (and us parents!). Peter obviously sets a strong example in this regard. He played sports growing up, and knows how much Jonathan loves sports. He was talking to Jonathan about what football position he plays and how he could learn new skills to switch to a position that might better suit him on the team. He even took Jonathan out in the hall and was showing him techniques on how to block and tackle an opponent. These examples highlight how impressed I am with not just the ELTC program, but the people behind it. And I can’t say enough good things about their unique program and how well they run it. Every session starts with gym time. The kids “play” physical games and release excess energy, all the while strengthening their brain-eye-body coordination. They then sit down at a computer for specific brain games. Using a software program called BrainWare Safari, the games target a range of cognitive skills like working memory, problem solving and strategic thinking. The session ends in Group Learning Strategy. In the group setting, anywhere from 5-8 kids of varying age ranges are given the same challenge. For example, they practice memorizing the 50 states, and to pass the challenge have to be able to recite them in under 20 seconds. As a motivator, they win $100 when they reach this goal. Jonathan is at 25 seconds and is really excited and eager to win that prize! As I mentioned, my son loves sports, so I thought the gym time would be his favorite of the three class segments (and so did Peter ). But when I asked him, he said the group time was his favorite. This shows how effective this program is at not only helping my son’s physical and mental development, but exposing him to new concepts and motivating him to learn and achieve. So far the ELTC staff and counselors have been impressive, both in their people skills and their innovative program, and I would highly recommend ELTC to any parent. I’m curious to see how Jonathan’s Empowered Learning sessions affect his grades and school work. Mid-term grades are coming out soon, so I’ll update readers in my next review! Empowered Learning Transformation Centers 8120 Woodmont Ave., Ste. 150 Bethesda, MD 301-654-5919 • eltcenters.com Nancy S. is a northern VA mom to son, Jonathan, age 13. Like many DMV parents, she works full time and strives to find balance in her work and home life. She is writing a series of reviews about her son’s experiences at the Empowered Learning Transformation Center, so check back to follow his progress. mom reviews: TEXT NANCY S. This is the third review in a series of updates. Visit the “Mom Reviews” section of our website at washingtonFAMILY.com to read the previous reviews.