AFTER 10 YEARS AT A LARGE-SCALE LEARNING FRANCHISE, THIS FOUNDER OF A BOUTIQUE TUTORING CENTER TOOK A MORE PERSONALIZED APPROACH TO EDUCATION
BY JESSICA JONES-GORMAN • PHOTOS BY AMANDA DOMENECH
For more than a decade, Richard Levoi, president of Skies the Limit Tutoring, served as the director of a large-scale learning center in Staten Island. While that business, with multiple franchises sprinkled throughout the country, was successful, the father of two saw an opportunity to create a system that would be substantially more effective for students and affordable for parents. So, in 2017, Levoi officially hung his corporate hat and opened a boutique tutoring center that would offer personalized, one on one attention to each student a service not typically rendered by the bigger names in the business.
“Many of the larger tutoring centers are missing individual attention, and I believe each child deserves that,” he said. “Tutoring should be tailored to each person.”
Skies the Limit Tutoring opened its doors last October in Great Kills, lending support in all subjects to children aged pre-K through 12, with a focus on reading, writing, and math. The center offers a free assessment, and then devises a personalized lesson plan to be delivered in a one-to one teacherto student setting. Its teachers are certified and experienced, and no two curriculums are exactly alike. In an effort to make education more accessible for families throughout Staten Island, the owner also felt it important to eliminate contracts and offer his clients a “pay as you go” system.
“It’s important to me to make education affordable,” he added. “Some people who have gone to these larger centers have bad tastes in their mouths, and we want to change that.”
With two full time teachers (Maria Accardi Pidluznyj and Brittany D’Avino) and a handful of others on call, Levoi’s center has the staff power to ensure each student receives necessary attention. After receiving a master’s of science degree in education, Accardi Pidluznyj worked alongside Levoi for years at the larger center before joining his program as its director of education. A graduate of Pace University, D’Avino served as a college peer mentor, tutoring her peers and younger children in math during her studies. The two educators work to devise curriculums that are equal parts effective, fresh, and motivating.
“Not every student should be taught the same way,” said D’Avino. “Some may require more hands-on experience, for example, wherein we would give them more examples and real-life problems to help them better understand the work they are doing.”
The educators often employ manipulatives in their lesson plans, too, giving students experience through real-world application of concepts, rather than just reading about them. A new Summer STEM Enrichment Program, meanwhile, teaches through construction and creation. Utilizing LEGO robotics, the children gain insight into the world of engineering, science, technology, coding, and other subjects.
“Great tutors will go above and beyond to help any student in need. They’ll also make a connection with the children to make learning fun and inventive. When you do make it fun, they are more open to the experience,” offered D’Avino. Accardi-Pidluznyj mirrored the thought.
“There is no limit to learning,” she said. “No matter how old we are, we can learn new things, every day.”
Skies the Limit Tutoring
4056 Amboy Road / 718.966.3351 / skiesthelimittutoring.com