Why After-School Programs Matter

The research is both overwhelming and unanimous.  Enrolling your child in a high quality after-school program is one of the single best and most important decisions you can make for your child’s future.  A steady stream of after-school program research, parent and school teacher surveys, and nationwide evaluations are showing incredible gains for children, not only in terms of academic achievement but also in terms of safety, self-discipline, and avoidance of risky behaviors.

Children who participate in high quality after-school programs (compared to non-participants) demonstrate:

Better Academic Outcomes

  • Better grades and performance on tests, including upper-level Math and English
  • More consistent school attendance
  • Better classroom behaviors and participation
  • Better study habits and timely completion of homework
  • Higher personal aspirations regarding finishing school and going to college

Better Behavioral Outcomes

  • Lower prevalence of obesity and related health complications
  • Avoidance of risky behaviors (e.g. crime, drugs, teen pregnancy, etc.)
  • Active participation in teamwork and collaboration, including leadership roles
  • Higher sense of purpose, self-sufficiency, and confidence
  • Socially appropriate & healthy interactions with both adults and peers

Afterschool Programs’ Impact on Academics, Behavior, Safety, and Family Life (National Afterschool Alliance Report, 2015)

According to national surveys, the vast majority of parents believe that high quality after-school programs also give working parents peace of mind about their children while they are at work and also report that they miss fewer days from work as a result. Best of all, they also report significant improvement in the quality time spent with their children in the home.

What Sets Us Apart

An unfortunate trend among many after-school programs and (similarly oriented daycare centers) is that their respective administrators try to enroll as many young students as they possibly can to maximize profits. This means that they often operate with staff-to- student ratios that render personalized supervision and guidance nearly impossible, never mind any meaningful mentoring or coordination of group activities.

At Olympic TaeKwonDo Academy and Mindworks, we are committed to delivering the highest quality of after-school experience for your child. Therefore, we have deliberately limited the total number of our enrolled students to just 12, maintaining a baseline ratio of 1 instructor to 6 students at all times, with special activities and projects (e.g. hands-on STEM learning) where the ratio may sometimes be even smaller (1 to 3 or 4).

This means that we will be able to take the time to get to know your child as an individual and also provide them with the focused attention that they need and deserve. Moreover, we will be able to monitor your child’s progress and communicate responsively with you, the parent, to effectively and efficiently answer any questions or address any concerns that you might have.

Our Philosophy: “Mens Sana in Corpore Sano” (A Sound Mind in a Sound Body)

After we transport your child from their school to our location in our company van, they will change into their own TKD uniforms and receive instruction and training from Master Taewoo Lee (see profile below), a world-class martial artist and coach. Beyond simply learning how to kick and punch your child will be taught important concepts such as self-discipline, respect, perseverance, courage, and peaceful conflict resolution.

At the conclusion of their TKD training, they will change back into their regular clothes and proceed upstairs in the same building to MindWorks’ spacious activity and study room. There, they will receive personalized guidance and academic coaching from John Lee (see profile below), the founder of MindWorks. The students will begin or continue working on various long-term projects (both individual and collaborative) in arts & crafts, basic engineering, biology, physics, etc.

After a short break, the students will take time to work on any school homework assignments with close supervision and assistance from John, with the goal of reducing and ideally eliminating the amount of they must spend on homework at home. Time will also be set aside at least once a week for group conversations and guided role-playing, which will help process and reinforce the values and lessons taught through our combined program.

With permission from parents, we will also communicate with the students’ school teachers, addressing any concerns that are shared (e.g. regarding academic performance, in-class behaviors, struggles with peers, etc.) with your child in a constructive manner, incorporating such themes and lessons into our curriculum while keeping parents informed of their progress.

Program Instructors

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Olympic TKD Academy

Taewoo Lee

Master Taewoo Lee is the owner and head instructor of Olympic TaeKwonDo Academy in Rocky Hill. He is a veteran of the US Army, having honorably served our nation in the Middle East for nine years with courage and integrity. During that same period, Master Lee took a leadership role in organizing a TaeKwonDo program for the soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division, which trained over 25,000 of our troops in this Korean martial art of self-defense.

Over the years, Master Lee has won medals in competitions at both the national and international levels, such as the Korean Open and the International Championships in Spain. As a dedicated instructor and mentor, he has also produced a national champion. Master Lee also trained and coached an elite group of students for the US Junior Olympics, where the team won numerous medals for their outstanding performance and overall excellence.

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MindWorks, LLC

John H. Lee

John is a graduate of Yale University, where he received his BA in History. He stayed at Yale for his first Master’s degree, studying Philosophy and Religion. Later, he received his second Masters from Columbia University’s graduate school of education, studying Higher Education policy.

As an educator, John has over a decade of experience teaching Philosophy both full and part-time at Central Connecticut State University, Sacred Heart University, and Quinnipiac University, where he has been nominated for the past 5 consecutive years by his faculty colleagues and students for the “Excellence in Teaching” award.

John also has over twelve years of experience working closely with younger students (K-12) as an academic coach and education consultant. His former clients have been accepted to some of the most prestigious universities in the US, including Yale, Cornell, Harvard, UPenn, Stanford, Columbia, etc.