One of Columbia County's newest businesses joins only a dozen of its kind in the United States.
Oxford Learning Center in Eagle Pointe Shopping Center on Washington Road in Evans is the only Oxford-based supplement educational provider in the state and is the first in the Southeast.
"Oxford themselves is working to expand rapidly in the states," said Ed Ferrang, center director and owner.
Founded in Ontario, Canada, in 1984, Oxford Learning is a leading supplemental education provider in Canada, Ferrang said.
Ferrang's career in education spans more than 20 years, so he's aware of the needs of some pupils. But he said he was led into his business venture to open the Oxford franchise in Evans for personal reasons.
"The school system does a very good job here in Columbia County - as good a job as you can, given the circumstances," said Ferrang, a former librarian and secondary-school social studies teacher. "However, some kids need extra help, or the parents wish to have enrichment for their children."
The Evans Oxford Learning Center will offer a core program for pupils in first through eighth grades. An Oxford Advantage program, offering Scholastic Aptitude Test preparation, study skills, high-level math and science training and writing skills, will be offered to high-school students.
A program for children ages 3-5 will be offered twice a week in two-and-a-half-hour segments.
"It will be educational-based," Ferrang said of the program for the youngest participants. "It's not child care, it's preschool."
An educational coordinator has been hired and part-time teachers, tutors and coaches will be hired.
"Our philosophy is to work very closely with teachers and the schools," Ferrang said. "We're here to help them do their jobs - to attain one thing and that is to help students learn. We're not on opposite ends."
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