from Jessy Giammarino, Executive Director:
My brother and I founded BrainBoost in 2006 as a place for kids to learn from inspirational educators, in ways that would make a fundamental difference in their lives. I have had a lifetime of working with kids and saw that across society, many kids were failing to learn what they needed to in order to lead a rich and meaningful life. At best, they were barely managing; at worst, school was a traumatic experience.
Grounded in my personal teaching experience, I knew that incredible things can be accomplished when educators and kids work toward goals that are relevant to each student, and do so in a way that is creative, honest, and in line with the student’s strengths and interests. Therefore my brother and I created a space for educators and students to work together, in a community of mutual learning, and where kids can grow to become the people they want to be, and that society needs.
BrainBoost started in a church basement, with 4 educators and 35 students. Today, our team of 30 serves over 250 students, with nearly 50 of those students attending full-time. Every day educators work collaboratively to support each student in living a meaningful and competent life.
BrainBoost approaches learning in a student-centred, pragmatic, and deeply engaging way. We aim to build a community of learners by inspiring individuals to meet the world with purpose. We embrace students and staff from all backgrounds and all forms of human uniqueness to create an environment of religious, cultural, racial, sexual orientation, gender expression and ability diversity.
We build each student’s program around an agenda, or goal, that is constructed in collaboration with the student. We only work with students who want to attend, and we engage in ongoing dialogue with students and families to ensure we are meeting the student’s needs. We support the development of each student through secure attachment, careful skill building, and opportunities for expression. Our educational program creates a space for the student to realize their aspirations, and support the development of healthy relationships through guidance and community involvement.
The most important component to our program is gifted educators. Our educators do not utilize just one approach to learning. They use tools from a variety of disciplines: special education, clinical psychology, sociology, biology, philosophy, social justice, design, and more in order to provide a balanced approach to teaching. What works varies greatly, depending on the student and situation. Our goal is to make a positive difference in the life of the child, our community, and beyond.
What Makes Us Different
Every student has a case manager to make sure the program is amazing!
Case managers work with parents, students, BrainBoost coaches and tutors, and other professionals to design a holistic and impacting plan, and adapt it in light of challenges and new goals.
Our tutors work as a team
Our team is a community of practitioners. They work in a network that supports their practice, challenges them to improve, and nurtures their skills.
Our tutors pair deep conceptual instruction with practical strategies and techniques
We’ll help with homework and other concrete tasks while building deep conceptual understanding, so that the learning lasts.
We value YOUR goals
We start all our programs from what the student wants to accomplish. We work with the student to create a plan that integrates their strengths, challenges and goals into a concrete strategy for their learning.
We work with all kinds of different learning profiles
We are experts in personalizing learning for students with a variety of learning profiles (including learning disabilities, giftedness, autism, and social/emotional challenges).
We have a supported learning environment
Our space, ‘The HUB’, is one of productivity and vibrancy but also a place where students feel safe and comfortable.
Our tutors come from all walks of life
In addition to the many educational professionals on staff, we have programming educators who program, writing educators who write, and science educators who use science to improve their daily lives.
Our coaches work with tutors to improve their practice
We provide dynamic daily support, regular meetings and ongoing training seminars to ensure our staff are always growing and learning.
We have an attitude of constant improvement
This means your program never stops evolving and growing. We’re obsessed with improving what is not working, and building on what is. In addition, we take ideas from everywhere, rather than using one educational model. As a result, our services are constantly evolving and growing.
Our hiring process ensures our tutors are passionate and effective
We choose the very best from the hundreds of applications we receive, and ensure quality teaching with repeated interviews, auditions with our students, and a gradual start for each employee.