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SCHERERVILLE — Even a teacher's daughter can use a little help at school.

Elise Goetzinger, of Hobart, said she called in Education Station last summer for her daughter, Grier, who is in the fourth grade of Montessori Children's School in Hammond.

"I'm a certified teacher myself, but sometimes it's easier to take your child to someone outside the home and learn differently from different people," she said.

She said she had tried other tutoring programs, then switched to Education Station, after hearing about it from a friend who homeschools her daughter.

Rachel Paplomatas said it had been her dream to open Education Station, 1435 Eagle Ridge Drive, last spring to help children struggling to advance to the next grade or exceptional students needing enrichment.

Paplomatas, an elementary and middle school teacher for 17 years, said, "I've seen where public education is going. I see the individual needs that children have. Sometimes it's social, sometimes behavioral and sometimes academic. I opened the center with my husband, Peter, to create something that we felt could reach students at all those levels.

"If you don't pass IREAD in third grade, you get a second opportunity to take the test, but if you don't do better, you are retained. We had students who failed IREAD come to us, and with our learning sessions and support, they were able to pass the second time around and avoid retention," Paplomatas said.

"It has been a tremendous asset," Goetzinger said. "Grier can work on homework there and alleviate a lot of the struggles we have with it at home. The individualization Grier gets has really benefited her, especially with her vocabulary and math.

"When Rachel reads with Grier, too, I like that she makes sure she is comprehending everything she is reading. She will ask some questions based on the chapter. If there are vocabulary words, she will take the time for her to look them up, write them down and send them home with Grier as well."

"Some students receive one-to-one instruction, but we have no more than five per teacher," Paplomatas said. "We have eight degreed teachers on staff.

"About 80 percent of our clients come in after school, but we also do open learning play where mothers of preschoolers come in to get their children familiarized with the school setting," she said.

Families of new students are required to sign a contract to commit to at least three months of instruction.

"We feel three months is enough where we expect to see some progress," Paplomatas said.

She said they not only provide learning sessions, but also open their facility for birthday parties. "We also do late nights out where they are dropped off and engaged for two hours."

"I call Education Station the little hidden secret because I don't think a lot of people know about it," Goetzinger said. "I think she does a phenomenal job. She works with you as a parent. It's a stress-free environment for them since they get a little play time, and it's a stress-free environment for the parent too."

Expected job growth

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the education sector employs 2.1 million elementary and middle school teachers. That number is expected to grow by more than 124,000 jobs by 2024.

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Lake County Reporter

Bill has reported in Lake County since 1972 after graduating from Indiana University. He has worked for The Times since 1997, covering the courts and local government during much of his tenure. Born and raised in New Albany, Ind., he is a native Hoosier.