Written by Tim Ahmed Thursday, 07 November 2013 00:00
The English Skills Center in New Hyde Park has finally opened its doors. Located on the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Hillside Boulevard, the learning facility provides a comfy, after-school learning experience for students preparing for English and Math in high school and college.
Jainy Thomas, a professor in Nassau Community College, noticed how students were not adequately prepared for English in the college level. She previously spent eight years teaching for the City University of New York.
“Initially, parents would approach me, asking if I can help their children improve in their writing, but I did not want to travel from house to house,” she said.
Instead, Thomas preferred to open a center where students can visit and learn in a more comfortable environment.
“It finally hit me that this is really happening,” Thomas said of when the Nassau County Planning Commission and New Hyde Park Village Board approved her plan. “At first I was unsure if my center would be approved, but once it was, I was happy.”
Currently, the English Skills Center holds sessions for students from the seventh-grade through 12th grade. The center also has sessions for students preparing for the SAT exam.
“We have an SAT boot-camp that consists of an eight-week intensive program with two classes each week,” said Thomas. “The first four weeks is exclusively for teaching English. Then the last four weeks will prepare students for Math. This schedule also allows students who may not need assistance for one of the two subjects.”
Thomas considers places like Kaplan or the Princeton Review to be very well-known, but they are also very expensive. She feels affordability and equal tutoring skill will help the center stand out.
“If you were to compare it to our program, you will find our service to be much more affordable and reasonable,” she said. “Most of these centers employ highly-skilled tutors, but all of the teachers here are professionals. They’re either certified teachers from the community or professors like myself.”
The classes in Thomas’ center are smaller too. About seven students attend each session. The center also provides students with individual tutoring.
Business has been moving very slow for Thomas’ center, but it has become a growing attraction for students.
“It has been a soft start since our opening,” she said. “I’m actually about to start posting advertisements in local newspapers sometime soon. However, there have been many students walking in.”
The English Skills Center hopes to help not only students but professionals who need some advice with their writing.
“We do provide editing and proofreading services too,” she said. “We all need guidance, we just need to have the urge to learn. Teachers open the door, but you have to walk through it.”