L3 Academy was founded by Yin Chang-D’Arcy and Kim McGuire, two moms whose children wanted more than what school and other after school programs had to offer. Both Yin and Kim founded and currently sit on the Board of Directors of Glen Ridge First, a non-profit supporting and promoting STEM for school aged children in Northern NJ. However, they soon realized the limitations of a non-profit; therefore L3 Academy was born. Their hope is that students and parents seeking fun learning programs, more STEM at a younger age, more individualized attention or just wanting to have fun will benefit from L3’s programming.
L3 Academy is short for Lifelong Learning Academy, LLC. L3 is focused on providing fun, educational programs that go beyond the common enrichment or continuing education programs for ages 3 and up. While enrichment and continuing education programs offer exposure to a variety of subjects, we hope that our programs provide a more in-depth opportunity for our students to diligently learn, while having hands-on fun. Initial program offerings include language immersion for Mandarin and Spanish, Early Childhood Enrichment, Interdisciplinary Programs as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs.
L3 Academy believes that greatness must be earned. We strive for high achievement in equal measure for all our students through immersion, hands-on learning and tying real-world activities to our programs. We believe that frequency is necessary to achieve mastery and mistakes can and should be made as each mistake is an opportunity to learn. We encourage experimentation and focus on the process of learning while recognizing each child’s efforts and determination. Our environment is judgment free – no grades, no notes to parents. We strive to make learning fun and, in doing so, create a lifelong love of learning.
STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and is often used today whenever education is discussed. You’ll find that the federal, state and local governments, educators, teachers and school districts are hyper-focused on this area today. Why? Just look around you - both locally, regionally, nationally and globally. In today’s global economy and STEM-based careers, our children’s generation will need highly specialized skills. By creating a fun, instructive atmosphere for STEM learning at an early age will open minds and curtail any preconceptions of STEM being boring or too difficult.
Kim’s love for math and science started in elementary school and her passion for pursuing these interests continues today. She’s been lucky enough to have a daughter who shares the same passion and always asks for “more math, mom!”. In fact, her daughter loved math so much that she traded in Brownies for a shot at math camp. As a result, Kim’s been on a mission to seek out small group, individualized instruction for her daughter so she can move as quickly or leisurely as she’d like in a subject.
Yin has a similar story. Since getting her first computer (the VIC-20) and then taking it apart, Yin has been obsessed with technology. Having attended a competitive NY high school focused on technology and engineering, she was astonished that students today don’t all walk around with a T-square, calculate the tension of steel versus copper wires and have a foundry in high school. Today, she’s blessed with young sons who love math, reading and LEGO® building. Having learned through play all her life, Yin wanted to pass along that appetite for curiosity and inspire young minds to love learning.
L3 Academy offers the opportunity for small group, individualized instruction for STEM topics. Using proprietary processes and technology, our students are empowered to learn what they love at their own pace, explore new interests or dive deeper in current ones, and join friends new and old on their journey.
Aside from all the benefits recent and not-so-recent studies have shown about increased cognitive abilities and increased math skills, the only way to truly learn a language is to immerse yourself. Learning a language at a young age is much easier as a young mind is more flexible and has the ability to absorb, distinguish and imitate sounds much easier.
Born in Taiwan, Yin learned and was fluent in an old Cantonese dialect, Mandarin and Cantonese by the age of three and had the ability to speak and think interchangeably with ease. By the age of five, she picked up English when she came to the U.S. However, as the opportunity to converse in her native language decreased considerably, Yin’s language skills began to wane. With two young children, she’s become a champion of language immersion and the importance of starting young and continuing to use the language in practical everyday tasks. In fact, she retains her fluency in Cantonese and has begun to work with her son on Mandarin fluency (including her own).