Great program, brilliant instructor - nothing like this anywhere!
Tobi Phillips is a gifted educator. The children in her programs are lucky to be able to learn from the wonderful teachers at Village East Gifted.
I first met Ms. P about two years before she founded VEG, while she was teaching at my school district's magnet program for gifted children. Immediately she became a mentor - a relationship that's lasted well over half my life. I'm sure I'll be running my writing by her for as long as I'm writing.
Many, if not most, of my fondest childhood memories involve chanting prefixes and suffixes in our Word Etymology courses (the cadences of which are still etched into my brain), or being encased in a raisin costume I'd made working through some song my like-minded friends and I had written for Odyssey of the Mind performance.
I cannot recommend VEG enough. It grounded me from a young age, provided me with a community, and gave me the toolset to live a creative life.
Our child entered kindergarten at our local public school only to come home frustrated and bored. Finding VEG was a God-send! From the moment he walked in the classroom you could see his desire to learn. Words cannot describe how much our son loves VEG. Our classes with Mrs. Goldfarb opened the world to him as they studied geography, latin words, and Ancient Egyptian History. Mrs. Goldfarb made learning these subjects so fun that often times our son would come home and want to research more. VEG is a special place and seeing the excitement on our son's face to go to class is priceless.
Village East Gifted is an amazing school! Both of my boys (ages 13 & 14) attended programs there. The curriculum is phenomenal and the teachers are professional and friendly. Village East Gifted provides a great learning environment for any child and my boys left the program feeling inspired and eager to come back again.
My daughter is in third grade and has been taking classes at Village East Gifted for over a year now. I am truly amazed by the development of her vocabulary and her writing skills at such a young age. Ms. Phillips shows unlimited depths of creativity by developing lessons that are informative and fun at the same time. The program is just the thing I was looking for to supplement my child's education and prepare her for a bright future. The lessons expand her mind with critical thinking exercises and a challenging curriculum. The small classes create a comfortable and welcoming setting with children of similar interests and learning capabilities. My daughter has developed some great friendships along the way and always leaves class with a smile on her face.
As I was reading Jacques Lacan's Ecrits for class, I stumbled upon a quote of his that struck me as being wonderfully, almost uncannily pertinent, ""The most corrupting of comforts is intellectual comfort, just as the worst of corruptions is corruption of the best." Which, in retrospect, were the exact words I was looking for to explain what I thought to be the core of Ms. P's educational philosophy, as well as the root of its success. It's a beautiful defense of the idea that constant, self-motivated discovery of new knowledge, even from sources generally considered long-spent, is the truest form of learning, rather than the didactic dispensing of previously collected knowledge on the part of some distant, unqualified authority figure.
Her pupils (myself included) could not be more devoted to her. To attain this sort of fanatical respect, most other teachers would have to resort to some kind of Big Brother-esque conditioning program; they'd have to forcibly brainwash their kids to attain any level of affection. Ms. P doesn't have that problem. We don't love Ms. P because she's always watching- we love her because she's awesome
We are so glad we found you. Every class Andrew finds more & more stimulating. If we are doing something on Sunday , he reminds us all day we have to hurry up because he cannot be late. Your teaching programs are so "out of the box" that he enjoys each and every class. He comes home laughing & smiling and extremely happy. He responds to you objectives and teaching techniques. I just wish everyone of Andrew's teachers were as dedicated and wonderful as you
We have seen seismic change in our son since he started at Village East Gifted two years ago at the age of nine. He is very bright and an eager learner, but had not generally shown much imagination, was painfully shy, hesitant to try new things, and a very "in the box" rigid thinker. Under Tobi Phillip's nurturance at VEG, and with the stimulating curriculum and in the company of such intellectually vibrant companions (of various ages, an experience that school and sports do not provide), he has come to life intellectually in ways beyond our hopes. He has become much funnier, more outgoing, much more cognitively flexible, and far more ready to admit to and pursue interests outside the ever-present suburban sports culture. It has also been such a joy to see him working with VEG in the Odyssey of the Mind Competition for the past two years. He has even voluntarily missed sports practices and games - unheard-of for him! - to come to his classes with Ms. Phillips. He enjoyed working with his teammates creating, building, painting, acting, trouble-shooting and finally competing. VEG has been a priceless experience for him - and for us.