PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A program in Lake Oswego takes a different approach to learning and makes education feel more like a sport.
Fit Learning relies on elements like enthusiasm, timers and tutors who are called “coaches” to help kids who struggle in traditional classroom settings.
“Our model is about finding those gaps, building those to sufficient strength that will support a learner’s success — not just in 3rd grade, not just in 9th grade — but literally throughout their entire academic trajectory,” said Dr. Kendra Newsome, who co-founded Fit Learning in Nevada.
Newsome told KOIN 6 News Fit Learning started as a behavioral analysis program at the University of Nevada, Reno in the 1990s.
Today, Fit Learning has 19 locations and hopes to expand in the Northwest. It works with kids as young as 3. Newsome said there’s no age limit and the program has even helped adults, though most Fit Learning students are grade-school age.
Staff members use an assessment test that exposes where the kids have gaps in their learning, which evaluators can then just to build a curriculum for each individual child.
Newsome likened the program to how a music teacher or athletic coach will find “specific practice opportunities for you and the repetition you need to execute on those skills when it matters.”
For Emilee Cannon, Fit Learning changed her son’s life.
Cannon said that before she found the program, her son struggled with even the most basic concepts in his traditional classroom environment.
“He wasn’t reading, he wasn’t writing, he wasn’t even understanding pre-K phonetics,” she said.
It was while living in Nevada that Cannon first discovered Fit Learning.
“As soon as I walked in, it was one of those moments of the motherhood kicking in, thinking ‘his life is never going to be the same’ and it hasn’t,” Cannon said. “They’ve completely changed his outlook on life. His confidence is through the roof.”
The experience had such a big impact on Cannon that she decided to go through training to open a Fit Learning when her family relocated to Lake Oswego.
The new center has already changed the life of Kirsten Merrill who said her daughter has made huge strides in her education since attending Fit Learning.
In fact, her daughter may now enjoy activities like reading a little too much, if such a thing is possible.
“She was making leaps and bounds,” Merrill said. “By Christmas, we noticed she was reading in her room when she was supposed to be sleeping at night.”
Click to learn more about Fit Learning