Diamond Player Development Academy

It’s always ‘batter-up’ time on Route 33

in Hamilton

A new indoor baseball facility on Route 33 in Hamilton is giving kids and young adults who love baseball the chance to enjoy the sport year-round.

Diamond Player Development Academy is staffed by individuals who not only are experts but also simply love the game. “I spent my youth in Brooklyn playing pick-up games,” said owner Jim Cuthbert, who was a catcher at St. John’s and still is the Texas Rangers northeast scouting supervisor.

This summer Diamond Player Development’s offerings include camps for younger kids, specialized instruction for older kids and travel camps that go to locations such as Australia, Puerto Rico, and Florida.

Camp for ages 5-12 will be held weekly starting July 10 and ending the week of August 7. It runs from 9 a.m. to noon on weekdays. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are spent at Mercer County Park, while Tuesdays and Thursday are at Diamond’s facilities in nearby Hamilton.

More advanced players ages 11 to 18 can participate in the Summer Development Program from July 11 to August 3. The program puts players through a pro-style workout that Cuthbert developed, borrowing from the Texas Rangers instructional league format. That includes videotaped inter-squad competition and video analysis of players’ performances to evaluate mechanics and mistakes.

Year-round programs at the 16,000-square-foot facility include individual and group sessions. Diamond also offers an indoor winter league so kids can face live competition during the off season, and a fall version of the Summer Development Program.

Despite the fact that his battered knees prevented him from pursuing his own baseball dream, Cuthbert knew he would be able to help younger players. While working as a coach and a scout, Cuthbert devised a plan to open a baseball academy with various levels of on-site training. “I was traveling up to an hour to give training, and I was coming across kids from Mercer County. I thought a lot of them would like to work out at a more formal facility, where you’re not traveling to inconvenient locations,” he said.

Diamond also has been holding special nights for area Little League teams. West Windsor’s Little League is invited on March 8 and 9, when kids will receive free batting cage tokens, free baseball and softball lessons, and discounted pricing in the pro shop. A portion of proceeds from program sign-ups and pro shop sales will go to the WWLL.

But not every kid coming to Diamond is in pursuit of a career in major league baseball. “Before we take any child’s registration, we talk to the parents and find out what they are hoping to get out of the program,” Cuthbert said. “For some, we realize that a group class is best way to go. For others, private instruction is better.”

Dreams are long-lasting in baseball. According to Cuthbert, “It’s the only sport where the average size, average build, average athlete still has a shot if they have the heart and an unmatched work ethic.”

Diamond Player Development, 670 Route 33, Hamilton. 609-587-2373. Fax: 609-588-9373. www.dpdacademy.com

Lewis School

Preparing struggling

students to thrive


Founded in 1973, The Lewis School is among the earliest groups of educators in the country to innovate, develop, and implement curriculum-wide multisensory education, science-based student assessments and neuroscience-based teacher training within a structured and nurturing traditional school environment.

The School’s philosophy is best described by its founder, Marsha Lewis: “Our students’ gifts and promise are as important to us as are their needs to repair scholastically. At The Lewis School, learning problems are understood not as disabilities, but as differences: the expression of remarkable and diverse capacities of human thinking and perceptions. The purpose of a Lewis School education is to prepare students, who may struggle with dyslexia, ADD, auditory processing, receptive-expressive language or decoding/encoding in reading, writing, spelling, retention-memory and comprehension, to thrive academically, as they learn to restore the confidence and self-esteem they need to achieve their scholastic and creative best.”

For the past 30 years and long before multisensory methodology was accepted by mainstream educators, The Lewis School’s curriculum included the now “widely acclaimed” teaching approaches of Orton-Gillingham, Slingerland, Childs and Wilson Reading. In the realization that no single teaching approach could address the many diverse needs of bright, unorthodox learners, despite how excellent that method might be, The Lewis School was among the first to integrate these approaches, one with the other.

With more than 150 students enrolled at The Lewis School, the daily curriculum is dynamic, challenging, competitive, and completely multisensory. Whether the student is a first grader learning the basics of sound-symbol association, or a teenager ready to take on Advanced Calculus at a college preparatory level, The Lewis School curriculum is designed to meet the needs of each individual student.

As Marsha Lewis described the school and its mission during an interview with The New York Times, “We don’t just teach our students compensation measures; we teach them working strategies. Our hands-on teaching approaches actively engage the many senses of the brain in the learning process, allowing students to automatize and internalize instruction, rather than reinforcing their inherent reliance on passive, rote memorization.”

The Lewis Clinic for Educational Therapy continues to serve as the foundation for instruction and learning. Having an organization that is rooted in the science of learning gives Lewis a unique perspective. The Lewis Clinic administers nationally- normed standardized tests and uses a comprehensive selection of diagnostic and perceptual instruments, which are adminis-tered without the influence of pre-determined biases or prior diagnostic opinions.

Students and parents are often relieved to find what they thought was a disability is actually a different way of learning that is unique to the child. At The Lewis Clinic families will find clearly defined, plainspoken, independent assessments that carefully examine their child’s learning strengths and weaknesses. This is helpful to teachers, parents, and students alike because, according to Marsha Lewis, “Children need an education that is in touch with them the way they really are.”

The Lewis School and Clinic continues to stay on the cutting-edge of research, exploring the brain’s ability to learn and readily adapt and deliver new concepts directly to faculty and the classroom. Innovations, like the virtual chemistry labs adapted for the use of learning different students, is only one example of the programs being sponsored by The Lewis School and Clinic.

The Lewis School and Diagnostic Clinic is a non-profit, non-sectarian, co-educational resource dedicated to the advancement and advocacy of learning different persons. Member of the International Dyslexia Society since 1973. The Lewis School and Clinic does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, gender or gender orientation.

The Lewis School, 53 Bayard Lane, Princeton. 609-924-8120. Fax: 609-924-5512. www.lewisschool.org.

Mercer’s Camp College:

A Great Place to be a Kid

Whether it’s the entire summer, a few weeks, or one day, imagine one site for your child’s camp experience that offers athletics, the arts, intellectual challenges, and just plain fun. That place is Mercer County Community College, home to the very popular Camp College and Institute for Arts and Sciences. Located on the beautiful West Windsor Campus, this 292-acre top-notch facility is located five miles south of Princeton, on Old Trenton Road in West Windsor/Hamilton Townships, bordering Mercer County Park.

This well recognized camp has provided a safe, nurturing and fun environment for young people for more than two decades. A mature staff of top quality instructors, many of them teachers from the local area, college faculty and professionals in their field, all who enjoy working with children, share their specialties in a relaxed setting.

More than 80 unique summer programs, full of variety and fun will be offered this summer for ages six and older. The camp season runs from June 19 – August 11. Extended hours and before and after-care are available for working parents.

Camp College offers two four-week sessions and one three-week mini session, Monday – Thursday, where campers develop a personalized “college style” schedule of six age-appropriate courses from more than 60 selections. Depending upon interest, selections include academics, art and crafts, music, dance, swim instruction, sports, writing for the camp newspaper, and more. This year the camp has expanded to include programming for six-year-olds. Younger children will experience all the fun older campers enjoy, but in a small group setting and at a more relaxed pace. Optional Friday Fun Days offered at an additional charge can extend the camp week.

For short-term options, the Institute for Arts & Sciences offers a variety of one-week, half and full-day individually priced hands-on art, computer, culinary, science, and recreational camps for youth, ages 7-14. Whether it’s learning to create tasty goodies in the college’s professional kitchen, developing a personal website, exploring marine biology at Sandy Hook, digging for fossils, or climbing to new heights, there’s something for everyone. Middle-school students entering 7th or 8th grade can also participate in an accelerated four-week, half-day English or Math/Pre Algebra academic enrichment program. Older, more adventurous students can explore the tri-state area for a week of small group, off-campus activities at Adventure Camp.

Camp College will host an open house on Saturday, March 25, from noon to 2 p.m., at the Conference Center. Families can meet with the director, tour the facilities, and register. Forms and detailed information are on-line at www.mccc.edu or call 609-586-9446 or email campcollege@mccc.edu for a brochure.

Power Pitching

& Hitting

Fun camp for serious baseball players

Starting with Spring Break, and continuing into the summer, serious baseball players can upgrade their skills at one of Power Pitching & Hitting’s camps.

Pro baseball players head off to Spring Training. In central New Jersey kids 6 to 12 head off to Spring Break Baseball Camp. The four-day camp will be held April 10 to 13 at the West Windsor Little League Indoor Facility at Community Park, and will provide players a way to jump-start their game with quality, comprehensive instruction by professional coaches and players.

“In fact, all our camps offer the most comprehensive instruction available in central New Jersey,” said owner Bill Bethea. “Our Summer Camps are age and position-specific. All participants get general instruction, but they also get advanced instruction in their position.”

There are four one-week Power Pitching & Hitting Baseball Camps, beginning June 26. Each camp is unique, and has a different focus. “You can take four straight weeks of camp and get four different camps,” explained Bethea. “Advanced position-specific instruction complements lessons on base running, fielding, hitting, and more. Unlike many other camps, our kids play a game every afternoon.”

The four one-week camps are open to kids of all abilities ages 6 to 12. They are at West Windsor Little League’s Ward Field complex at Community Park.

“We also offer a camp for 13 to 16-year-olds, which almost no one else does,” said Bethea. “These are kids who are serious about high school ball, and are hoping to play in college.” The “Babe Ruth-style” camp is offered for two one-week sessions starting July 5 at West Windsor Little League’s Indoor Facility at Cuiffani Field. Like Power Pitching & Hitting’s other camps, this camp offers a mix of general instruction and advanced position instruction, and includes a live game every day.

Registration has begun for Spring Break and Summer Camps. There is Summer Camp early bird discount for those who register by April 30. There also is a sibling discount, or a multi-week discount, for the summer (discounts cannot be combined). More information is available at www.throwstrikes.com

Summer 2006 marks Power Pitching & Hitting’s fourth season. Bethea, a life-long baseball enthusiast, player and instructor, created Power Pitching & Hitting to offer quality instruction in all facets of baseball. However, his niche comes from his expertise: building bat speed and velocity in pitching.

“Our players learn how to hit farther and throw harder, which means raising batting averages and throwing more strikes,” Bethea said. He personally puts time and effort into coming up with ways to teach baseball mechanics more effectively. “We like to be on the cutting edge to stimulate our players to learn,” he said, noting some of the baseball companies often lack this personal touch.

Power Pitching & Hitting offers private and semi-private lessons, small group lessons and specialty clinics year-round. Programs are available for pitching, hitting, catching/fielding and velocity development. Family Plans, and Special Packages are available.

Bethea knows baseball. He and his carefully selected staff are improving play in New Jersey and beyond.

Power Pitching & Hitting Professional Baseball Instruction, West Windsor Little League facilities at Community Park.

Central Jersey Baseball Academy, Edison; All-Pro Academy, Edison. 732-586-1309. info@powerpitchingandhitting.com www.throwstrikes.com

Princeton Dance

& Theater Studio

Summer camp for beginners and serious kids

In addition to its popular Summer Camps for dancers ages 10 to 20, Princeton Dance and Theater Studio this summer will invite 6 to 9-year-olds to enjoy a unique dance camp experience.

“Little Dance Makers is an incredible program for the 6 to 9 set,” said Co-Owner Risa Kaplowitz, who runs Princeton Dance and Theatre Studio with noted ballerina Susan Jaffe. “The program is based on famous literature, such as ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ or ‘The Prince and the Pauper,’ which we use as a jumping-off point.” Youngsters learn elements of dance and create backdrops and costumes in anticipation of each Friday’s performance. Little Dance Makers is a week-long, half-day camp, and runs July 31 to August 4, and August 7 to 11.

Broadway Bound is geared toward the theater and recreational dancer ages 10 to 18, and includes acting, jazz, tap, singing, and hip-hop. “We’re welcoming noted instructors again this year,” said Kaplowitz. “We’re proud to welcome Todd Shanks from New York’s Steps on Broadway, as well as Tom McKie, who specializes in hip-hop.” Broadway Bound, a two-week, half-day camp, with an additional 90 minute hip-hop option, runs July 31 to Aug. 11 and culminates with a performance on the last day of camp.

This summer Ballet Intensive Junior, for dancers ages 10 to 16, is a full day. “These dancers are on the path to becoming more serious dancers. It’s similar to the Summer Intensive, but is condensed.” The program focuses on ballet, and includes jazz, hip-hop and modern, as well as conditioning programs. Ballet Intensive Junior has only a few spots remaining for summer, 2006. It runs July 3 to 14 and July 17 to 28.

Serious dancers from throughout the United States travel to Princeton Dance and Theater Studio for its renowned Summer Intensive, which brings in “extraordinarily famous” performers as teachers. The camp is for intermediate and advanced pointe dancers, 13 to 20 years of age, and focuses on preparing students to be professional dancers. Summer Intensive, which requires an audition, runs from June 26 to July 28, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Out of town students board at the Hun School.

Dancers who want to enjoy “regular” dance classes over the summer can continue to take evening classes at the Studio. “We’ll offer a variety of classes, including fun programs for younger kids to more intensive classes for older students,” Kaplowitz said. The full list is available at www.princetondance.com.

Classes and camps at Princeton Dance and Theatre Studio fill quickly, so Kaplowitz encourages those interested to register soon: “It’s never too early to look into summer programs.”

Princeton Dance and Theatre Studio, Princeton Forrestal Village, Route 1 South, Princeton. 609-514-1600. info@princetondance.com www.princetondance.com.

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