Learning center ‘peaks’ students interest in subjects | VailDaily.com

Learning center ‘peaks’ students interest in subjects

Daily Staff Writer
BIZ Peak Learning Center BH 6-14 Vail Daily/Bret Hartman Katch Schmidt started Peak Learning Center and wants to make sure everyone has the ability to develop their learning skills.

Peak Learning CenterAddress: 1286 Chambers Ave., Eagle Phone: 328-6100Fax: 328-1588 E-mail: kspeak@ropircablevision.comDate opened: June 2003Owner: Kathy Schmidt

What goods or services do you provide and what product lines or services do you offer? Peak Learning Center provides support and remediation of basic learning skills for ages five to adult. We focus on math, reading, writing and study skills. We use computerized programs developed to help students with basic skills and visual and auditory processing issues. Other activities include small group activities designed to develop thinking and skills that help to foster success in school and life in general. What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? We begin by focusing on helping students understand where their strengths lie. We then work to help them learn to use those strengths to develop strategies that will enable them to improve areas where they are not successful. Using individualized programs, we work to fill in gaps in learning that can be causing problems. We also screen for issues with vision and hearing that can be the hidden causes of lack of success in school. Undetected eye-tracking problems and auditory processing problems can be devastating in terms of missed learning. We are working to increase awareness of these problems to help students.

What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? In his book “The Myth of Laziness,” Dr. Mel Levine says, “Almost no one is actually lazy.” When something is very difficult we tend to avoid it. When school is very difficult avoidance can look a lot like laziness or an attitude problem. No one likes to fail when they are really trying, so why not quit trying? At least then your failure does not reflect on how smart you are. We work to find the basis for the learning difficulties. Next we work to help students understand strategies they can use to help them deal with the things getting in their way. What children do in July can make all the difference in what they do in September. Summer learning could change a child’s future.Tell us a little about your background and experience: I grew up in Illinois and taught school there before doing the “I’ll just take a year off and go to Vail” thing – 23 years later I have never, not for one day, regretted that move.

I have owned my own business, traveled throughout the country as a supervisor for a hotel chain and really enjoyed my different careers. But, coming full circle back to education has been great. I am learning all the time, enjoying my students greatly and really making a difference in the lives of some of those who have struggled with learning.What led you to start the business here? I was working with a company that develops and sells educational programs and became really excited about what I saw happening for students. As I told my friends about what I was learning, over and over I heard, “That is just what my child needs.” So, Peak Learning Center was created to offer these programs to students here in Eagle County. I live in Eagle and felt that there was a real need for a resource such as this.

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