Written by Megan Malloy
Supreme Tutoring in Freehold is planning on giving away dozens of free tablets to area schools starting in September.
Newman, founder and director of Supreme Tutoring, has partnered with PC
Richards & Son to provide the technology to classrooms, and sees
the giveaways as an extension of the kind of work Supreme Tutoring is
"It’s hard to give our kids the best education possible without having all the right tools," said Newman. It is imperative, he said, "for children to learn on their own, with updated computer technology so that all of our students are engaged and they’re all learning and they’re all having fun. They don’t even realize they’re learning."
Each month, 10 to 25 tablets will be given to a classroom. Schools in Manalapan, Freehold, and Marlboro will be able to fill out an application for the technology, and Newman will make the decisions based on need.
Giving back to the community is something that Newman has prioritized since Supreme opened its doors.
"When a parent signs up, we give a percentage of their tuition to an organization they choose,” he said. "You have to be thankful for the business that comes in from the community, so you have to give back."
Parents can elect to donate part of their tuition money to the Boy Scouts, the PTO, or whomever else they choose. In addition, the center offers a free socialization program for children on the autism spectrum, as well as a variety of other social disorders. Social workers, neuropsychologists, financial planners, and insurance companies hold sessions at Supreme Tutoring, and talk to parents about challenges and strategies for the future.
"Parents come here, and they feel lost," said Newman. "The parents have nowhere to go sometimes, and the schools don't give them the answers, other doctors don’t give them the answers, and if you're able to provide a parent with that sense of relief….that’s what we’re here for."
Newman got into education after his father, a retired principal, convinced him to give up a career in business to pursue it. Newman's mother is the director of an early childhood center.
Newman, who is also an assistant principal at a school in New York, opened up Supreme Tutoring with his wife in 2011. The teacher-student ratio is extremely low at six to one, and students make regular use of the facility’s Smartboards, Kindles and laptops.
All of Supreme’s tutors are licensed teachers by the state of New Jersey and teach in area schools. Classes are taught in small rooms and range from common core basics to SAT prep to robotics. Teachers emphasize game-based learning and encourage kids to start with their strengths and grow from there. The results speak for themselves; the average SAT prep student jumps 300 points thanks to Supreme.
Learning centers like Supreme fill in the gaps that can so often emerge in schools, where teachers and principals are constantly asked to do more with less, according to Newman.
"We're so busy trying to move our students up grades that we sometimes forget about those kids who are middle level or even higher level," said Newman. "Schools will say, how are you moving your lower-level kids? But how many of them are saying, what are we doing for our higher level or middle level kids?"
Newman wants to fully integrate the efforts of the tutors, students, parents, teachers, and principals, and has used technology to better facilitate those interactions. An online portal will be launching in the fall, which will connect each Supreme Tutoring student with his or her parents, teacher, tutor, and principal, so everyone is on the same page and can track the student's progress. There will also be an online resource for parents, providing everything from test-taking skills to homework tips.
In addition to the technology giveaway, Supreme Tutoring will be opening its second location in Marlboro in the fall.
"We’re very excited about that location because we’re able to reach out to more students," said Newman. "Marlboro is my hometown, so I’m excited. It’s nice to be home."
Newman hopes that the Marlboro location will foster the same love of learning and family atmosphere that they have cultivated in Freehold.
"Students may be poor in one area or subject, but they may be really strong in another area," he said. "We don’t just skip over that strength; we take that strength and we challenge them to go to the next level. Just to see the confidence built—forget it, it’s an unbelievable feeling."