Exploring Physical Properties

Jenny Nelson engages students (l-r) Kaylee Alfaro and Laura Schoeneberg in defining the physical properties and changes of objects during a science camp session held last week at the Sylvan Learning center located inside the former Palais Royal building. Nelson, who has spent more than 20 years working in the educational system, decided to purchase the franchise in an effort to help students with their learning needs in El Campo and the surrounding area.

Jenny Nelson, who spent more than two decades in education as a teacher of elementary, junior and senior high students and as technology director in Ganado, is taking a leap of faith to further help students in their educational needs. She is a franchise owner of a recently opened Sylvan Learning center in El Campo.

“I have two kids and I have watched them go through the (school) system,” she said. Her own students were also having difficulties with their studies.

“I could see the struggles they had in core subjects. And then COVID hit,” she said.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, she saw students falling behind even more so in their studies, which further validated her idea of opening a learning center.

“Being a teacher, I’ve had students going to Sylvan and I saw the success they had,” she said. “About two to three years ago, I looked into it (Sylvan Learning). This is the right time.

So she gave Sylvan a call, expressing to them her concerns and hopes for opening a center in El Campo.

“They looked at the demographics and they saw there was a need,” she said.

Nelson felt she was also very qualified to run a learning center because of her past experience working with students, administrators and parents.

“So I purchased the franchise,” she said. “I took that leap of faith.”

Nelson, who moved into the new MidCoast Health System MidTown location at 1201 N. Mechanic (former Palais Royal) on Aug. 17, opened Sept. 1 and currently has 10 students. She has two certified teachers besides herself with plans of adding more as the program grows. Reading, writing and math are the three main areas of focus, as well as science camps held during the month.

Students who enter the program go through an assessment to determine their needs.

“We see where gaps are and make a learning plan for them,” she said.

Sessions are an hour long with the last 15 minutes devoted to helping children with their school homework.

“Some parents are struggling with that (helping their kids with homework),” she said.

Working as technology director these past few years, Nelson says she’s missed the classroom most, so being able to teach again has been a goal of hers.

“I love working with students, that is what I miss most about my job and seeing them build their confidence,” she said.

Nelson and husband Eric have two grown children, Andrew and Emma. She grew up in Angleton and her husband grew up in Ganado. Her educational background includes a bachelor of science degree in marketing and communications, a teaching degree in education from the University of Houston-Main Campus and a master’s of science degree in science and instructional technology.

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