At Your Service
At Your Service By Nicole Canfora Lupo, photo by Dan Epstein Jim & Jodi Ralston in a Mathnasium Learning Center Math=Success at this Unique Tutoring Center F rom simple arithmetic to algebraic equations and calculus functions, math can be intimidating for many students. For others, the subject's complexities come with almost startling ease, a gift of abstract reasoning that, with the right nurturing, can lead to success in areas from computer science to music to the world of ﬁnance. And wherever your student falls along the spectrum, Mathnasium can help. Run by the husband-and-wife team of James and Jodi Ralston, the tutoring center is no mere bandage for students struggling with math. Instead, Mathnasium provides individualized programs for students at a broad range of abilities, and is geared to ensuring its students' long-term success. "We provide the foundational skills necessary to build a mastery and ﬂuency in math," says James Ralston. e idea began with Jodi Ralston who, after spending a decade teaching math at a middle school, felt frustrated in her eﬀorts to meet the needs of students at widely diﬀerent skill levels. "What I always wanted to do," she says, "was to really be able to meet the students at their level, whatever that level is, whether they're advanced, struggling, or anywhere in between." So she and her husband decided to open their own math center… and their research led them to Mathnasium, a tutoring franchise with curriculum and teaching methods that "ﬁt exactly with my philosophy on math education," Jodi says. Today, the Ralstons have Mathnasium locations in Chatham and Summit, and they're proud of the unique tutoring model they oﬀer. "It's a very customized program tailored to the individual needs of the student," says James. " ey may be at the top of their class, struggling to get by, or somewhere in between—wherever they are, we develop a program to supplement and complement what's going on at school." With the parents' permission, Mathnasium will even contact the teachers directly in order to best coordinate their eﬀorts to help the student. Available afternoons, evenings and weekends, the in-house tutoring spans a second-grade level through AP statistics and calculus. e aﬀordable membership program oﬀers a group setting with shared instructors, who roam the learning center, working with individual students throughout the session. One-on-one sessions can also be arranged for those who need or prefer the private attention. Mathnasium oﬀers two main types of instruction: "prescriptive exercises" that address knowledge gaps, and "math workouts" that extend and apply that knowledge. Mathnasium's tutors work in a range of professions: chemistry, physics, engineering, ﬁnances, and, of course, mathematics. But all have strong mathematics backgrounds, skills—and passion. " ey all have not just an ability but a passion for math," says James. " ey want to show students how far math can take them in the future." Mathnasium 973-377-6284 (MATH) 86 Summit Ave., Lower Level 4, Summit www.mathnasium.com/Summit 650 Shunpike Road, Chatham Township www.mathnasium.com/Chatham Layou Comp Marcht 2010 SUBURBAN ESSEX / VICINITY VicinityMagazine.com 1 35
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