Liz Craynon Frank, founder of a new business called Abundant Learning, is opening this week in Dumbo. Abundant Learning will be offering a variety of services to the Dumbo community. First, it is a place for students to come after school where they can study and receive help with their homework. They are offering what they call a “homework academy”–which is similar to a study hall. In their homework academy, up to six students work individually, with a single, experienced tutor answering questions and helping out with difficult questions and problems.
They also offer one-on-one tutoring in all academic subjects, as well as help with test prep. On Wednesday evenings there will be a chess club (a pizza dinner included) and on Saturdays, beginning in February, there will be an art class. Abundant Learning is also a venue for all types of classes and workshops–from yoga to psychology–for both adults and children.
With Dumbo Gymnastics (#509), Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club (#508), and now Abundant Learning (#513), part of the fifth floor of 68 Jay Street in Dumbo is starting to look like great enclave for kids activities. We can appreciate that they are planning to be very involved with the community.
They have a grand opening event on Thursday, January 6, from 4-7pm. The Dumbo community is invited and will be showcasing the artwork of students from nearby PS 307 (prior post). We spoke with Liz (whose family has a long history with the Dumbo neighborhood) about the new learning center:
Why did you decide to open in Dumbo? When did you first hear about the area?
I chose Dumbo because its my neighborhood! I have had a private tutoring practice in the neighborhood for a couple of years. I sublet small office spaces in various buildings, but I was always getting displaced. After the last displacement, I found myself scrambling for space, and I found my current location – which was great but too big for just me, but perfect for expansion. Simultaneously, I have been actively day dreaming about some kind of educational center for the neighborhood. I live on Plymouth and Bridge. I see young families everywhere and no real services for them in the immediate area. And with the new buildings going up – this neighborhood seemed a perfect fit for a learning center for families.
I first heard about Dumbo from my husband’s family. They were living down here 30 years ago, when there really weren’t any services. My father in law and husband run a factory on Bridge Street.
Abundant Learning seems to be a great way to supplement school work for children. Are there any specific philosophies or models you follow in teaching and tutoring kids?
With regard to tutoring, the Abundant Learning Center adheres to the idea that we are all individuals with differing sensory systems providing each with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Once the learning profile is discovered we craft lessons to stimulate weaknesses, while honoring strengths, bringing the two closer together. That said, kids (and adults) tend to learn when they are relaxed and having fun! The ALC is a quiet, calm venue where the teachers are lively, interesting, and thorough.
My personal practice focuses on reading skills. The bulk of my students are dyslexic. I rely on multi-sensory tools and programs, such as Lindamood-Bell. We also offer a homework academy, and classes/clubs such as art and chess.
Finally, we have an adult component, which I am super excited about. We plan to offer classes for adults that delve into areas such as the educational research, philosophy and education, and the mind, body, spirit connection and how it affects learning.
With Brooklyn Bridge Fencing, Dumbo Gymnastics, and others providing children’s activities and services in Dumbo, what are your plans for partnering with them? The PS307 exhibit sounds like a great start to this.
We plan to cross market with Dumbo Gymnastics and the Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club in several ways. We have an event this Friday for the Dumbo Parents Organization called Friday Night Out. The kids will to gymnastics, fencing demo, and the ALC for art/chess. Also, we are offering all DG and BBFC families and 20% discount on rates through the end of the school year.
Congrats Liz on the new business and to Dorian Geisler, the director of Abundant Learning!