By LIZ BARNARD, Four Points News
Raj Gadde and Pardha Jasti are excited to bring the global learning center Eye Level to Steiner Ranch.
Eye Level focuses on reading, writing and math, teaching both basic and critical thinking.
Gadde said the location in Steiner is ideal based on the education level of its residents and the importance of academic achievement.
“Basically, there are a lot of families with above average income, with a high level of education and a lot of homes in the area,” Gadde said.
Eye Level, formerly known as E.nopi, was founded by the Korean company Daekyo, in 1976. The concept is based on the true story about a teacher who was appreciating artwork while kneeling at the Smithsonian. When the teacher was asked why he was looking at the artwork at that level, he responded that it was for him to better understand the way his young students would see from their perspective.
Eye Level is in 16 countries and is aligned with the U.S. Department of Education standards.
Emily Palese, Eye Level instructor in Steiner Ranch, is excited to be part of the new learning center.
“I studied Spanish and Biological Anthropology and earned my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification,” said Palese. She also volunteered with her grandmother teaching basic literacy at a leprosy clinic in Liberia.
Palese spent the past two and a half years with the Peace Corps teaching middle and high school English in the Philippines. The teacher to student ratio is 1 to 70 there and also there were few, if any, teaching materials, resources and support.
The main reason Palese joined Eye Level is due to the low instructor to student ratio.
“We have small classes where the average is four students, with a maximum of six students. It is a classroom setting where learning is self-directed,” Palese said.
Eye Level also focuses on helping students become independent learners.
“We also offer free diagnostic testing to see where a child will start,” said Gadde. There are eight learning levels for English, with 20 booklets and four lessons per booklet.
Eye Level’s Math Program consists of 32 levels, broken into 18 booklets. Each subject is divided into smaller components, which helps students to feel less overwhelmed, Gadde said.
Programs offered at Eye Level include weekly one-hour classes and weekly homework. Each week homework from the previous week is graded and mistakes are reviewed.
The small classes include games and puzzles to keep the interest of the students and the curriculum does not focus on drilling and memorization.
The center plans to be open Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and will expand their hours based on demand over the next few weeks and months.