Reis Learning Center grows with addition of RLC Classroom

The Reis Learning Center in New Milford will celebrate the grand opening of its new, expanded space, the RLC Classroom, Saturday.

Owner Jessica Reis will unveil the colorful studio that will be dedicated to ASL classes, as well children and adult enrichment opportunities.

The opening will run from noon to 3 p.m. at 28 Railroad St., just around the corner from the center’s main studio on Bank Street.

“One of my visions has been, and is, to be a community hub,” Reis said. “I love teaching, but I also want to make connections, not just with the student but with the whole family,” Reis said.

Having a space outside of the main studio, which focuses on academics, enables Reis and her staff to reach more people in different ways and establish those connections.

However, Reis emphasized the center will remain focused on learning and education.

“The students are priority,” she said.

Mayor Pete Bass is expected is expected to attend Saturday’s opening, which will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m.

Every child who attends the event will receive a free book while supplies last.

Business neighbor Cool Hand Duke’s will donate a fry bar for the festivities.

The RLC Classroom is situated in the space formerly occupied by the Safari Collective, which recently moved to 57 Bank St.

Reis emphasized how the Classroom’s space will benefit the center in numerous ways.

The new space is at street level, providing more visibility to the Classroom’s offerings, as well as introduce individuals who may not be familiar with the Reis Learning Center or its offerings.

It also allows for more flexibility scheduling workshops.

In the past, classes and workshops were not offered simultaneously with the center’s offerings because they would interfere with the center’s mission.

The center, an independent learning center on the second floor at 65 Bank St., offers individualized academic programs that cater to a student’s specific needs.

In addition, it provides homework help, exam prep and one-on-one instruction.

Workshops and classes on a variety of topics are also available. Among them, ASL classes.

ASL classes will now move to the new space, as will the center’s summer camp school, which is a small group academic summer camp held in July and August.

Griffin Mingachos has gotten extra help at the center and attended the summer camps.

“The one-on-one attention he received from the Reis Learning Center not only got him back on track, but it also extremely boosted his confidence,” Griffin’s dad, Mark said.

“The Reis Learning Center was absolutely amazing and totally responsible,” Mingachos said.

In addition, the Classroom will provide a dedicated space for enrichment programs such as Mommy and Me for children ages 4 to 7; crafts for children ages 7 to 9; and an after-school craft for children one Tuesday a month from after school until 5:30 p.m.

In addition, the first Friday of each month feature an activity for adults. The time slot will coincide with the Children’s Movement Center, which offers a first Friday of each month child drop-off night.

A monthly featured activity for children and adults will also be scheduled.

Paint nights and wood project nights will be offered, too, Reis said.

Chunky blanket classes have been under way for some time and will continue.

“They’re so popular around the state…and classes sell out,” Reis said.

Erin Putzig, owner of Mommy’s Board Silly, a mobile DIY studio in New Milford, will teach several of the activities, as will Reis and members of her staff.

“Erin and I work well together,” Reis said. “I like the care she puts into everything.”

Putzig said she said is “really excited” to continue to lead classes at the new space, which she describes as “beautiful.”

Leading workshops isn’t just about doing the activity, Putzig said. It’s about actually teaching individuals the ins and outs of how to make something, such as a chunky blanket.

Both Reis and Putzig said they are open to bringing new offerings to the Classroom and offer workshops at varying price points.

The school bus stops at the bottom of Bank Street after school, which affords students the opportunity to go directly to the center or Classroom right after school.

The Classroom features several cubbies with baskets of supplies, tables for ASL students and enrichment programs and workshops, two tables of local merchandise such as cards and other goods, and a thumbprint wall.

The Reis Learning Center Classroom is located at 28 Railroad St. Regular weekday hours and as-needed hours on the weekends will be offered and announced soon. For more information, call 860-354-0854.