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January 10, 2013

Sylvan classes coming to Athens

Remedial reading, math courses to be offered at Cain Center for 10 weeks

Athens —

Steve Grant, chairman of the Cain Center Board of Directors, has announced that an agreement has been reached with the Sylvan Learning Center in Tyler to offer remedial reading and mathematics classes. 

According to Tere Lawyer, executive director of the Cain Center, the initial class is scheduled to begin on February 5. The classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday for 10 weeks, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., for a total of about 40 contact hours.

“It’s just phenomenal. I’m very excited about this,” Lawyer said. “I think it’s going to be great, and we’re hoping that businesses will offer scholarships for kids to participate. ... It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Through support from Virtual Communications and Texas Ragtime, Inc., the Cain Center is in the process of updating its computer network and Wi-Fi systems to support this new, innovative learning program.

The Sylvan Learning Center, which has been in Tyler for the past 30 years, offers the latest innovation in iPad-supported instruction via the Internet. These classes will be offered to participating students in two-hour blocks, two nights a week, for 10 weeks.

According to Carmen Hunt, president of Texas Ragtime, Inc., has made a commitment to provide two scholarships to dependent children of its employees needing financial assistance. Steve Grant Realty, likewise, has offered financial assistance for an eligible student through the Cain Center office. It is hoped that this might provide an incentive for other area businesses to offer similar support for area children, who wish to improve their reading or mathematics skills.

Parties interested in participating in this program are asked to contact Lawyer at the Cain Center for more information at 903-677-2000.

 Robert Nelson, a retired school administrator and Sylvan Learning Center owner, has emphasized that these classes are not offered “as a substitute for the student’s regular classroom instruction, but as a means to provide supplemental instruction for students who have fallen behind grade level in math or reading.” Sylvan Learning’s process includes administering a series of achievement tests to identify skill gaps and learning deficiencies that a student may have. Lessons are formulated for each individual student, with testing at the conclusion of each lesson to measure progress. 

Normally, local teachers will be recruited and trained to lead these classes, on a part-time basis. According to Nelson, students should progress one full grade equivalency, or more, during the 40 hours of instruction. Pre-course and post-course tests are administered to measure performance growth. Students will receive tokens from the teachers for demonstrating commitment and hard work. These tokens can be spent at the “Sylvan Store,” which will be available in the classroom.  

The student teacher ratio will be five-to-one. All instruction will be provided, supported, measured and recorded with utilization of a proprietary iPad-based, instructional internet program named Sylvan Sync. Parents, through an internet portal called My Sylvan, may access and track their child’s progress, along with a host of other useful resources.

For additional information regarding the program, please call the Cain Center at your earliest convenience.


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