January 16, 2017
ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Karen Lospennato, the owner of Shoreline Learning Center, stands at her learning facility in Nahant.
By BRIDGET TURCOTTE
NAHANT — Karen Lospennato, a former educator who spent more than 30 years teaching students on the North Shore, will open a learning center for children in Nahant this month.
Registration for Shoreline Learning Center, which will offer enrichment, homework help, tutoring and educational programs, will begin on-site at 147 Nahant Road on Saturday.
Programs will be open to elementary school students after school from 2:30-6 p.m. and during school breaks.
Lospennato, a 40-year Nahant resident, has filled every role from a teacher to a reading coach to a curriculum director throughout her career. From 1984 to 1994, she was an elementary school classroom teacher in grades one through four, serving Nahant, Everett and Danvers. She went on to become the literacy coordinator for Marblehead Public Schools for eight years.
She has been a literacy coach for Boston Public Schools, the executive director of teaching and learning for Swampscott Public Schools, a literacy specialist for the Saltonstall School in Salem, and most recently, a reading coach at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Lynn.
“I retired at the age of 60, but I’m still very young physically and emotionally and I still love working with kids,” Lospennato said. “I want to continue to foster that passion that I have. I want to continue working with students. I could have done that as a substitute teacher, but I wanted to form relationships. That’s the best part of a teaching job, the bond that you form with the kids.”
Friends and former educators who are certified teachers will join her team to accommodate the number of students who enroll, she said.
“A big component of it is kids having something to do after school, other than just plopping down in front of the TV, being sedentary or walking around the town,” she said. “It’s not a babysitting service or a place to just hang out. We’ll have activities where kids will have to use problem-solving skills either by themselves or with a group.”
Lessons will also be centered on science, technology and the arts, she said. The center will have a full library and space for students to do their homework.
“I remember, as a working mom, there wasn’t a lot of after-school activities for my daughter,” Lospennato said. “We’ll have someone who knows how to help kids get their homework done so when they go home, the parents can have that down time with them.”
During the February school break, STEAM activities, a CSI-Solve the Mystery activity and a pick-your-own activity session will be offered each day. Each two-hour session costs $15 with price breaks for students enrolled in more than one per day.
One-on-one tutoring sessions can be scheduled for $75 per hour. Children from Nahant and all surrounding districts are eligible to enroll.
Bridget Turcotte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.