In a tech-driven world, childhood educational options are expanding beyond traditional school settings. The workforce is changing, and the upcoming generation must adapt accordingly.
That’s the mission of Ardsley resident Matthew Trainor, cofounder of NORY, an educational enrichment organization with a location in Hartsdale. Founded in 2015, NORY teaches “hard” skills, like coding, working with circuits, and handling chemical reactions, in addition to “soft” skills, such as empathy, determination, and inquisitiveness.
“There was definitely a lack of the type of programming that we’re offering in Westchester, particularly for early-elementary students [kindergarten] to the third grade,” says Trainor. “I’ve seen some decent coding classes and coding programs for children here, but a program like ours is much more about physical computing, where kids can build robotics or experience a hands-on physics experiment or a chemical reaction. There is definitely a need for that in this area.”
NORY, which is registered under the American Camp Association, has grown from roughly 100 weekly students in 2016 to over 3,000 enrollees in 2021 (roughly 500 of whom are in Hartsdale).
Trainor adds that his company’s relationships with local schools also promote growth, as it facilitates reaching parents with children who are eager to learn. “We have nine full-fledged summer-camp locations, including the Westchester campus. So yeah, it’s grown significantly based on the number of school partners that we have. Our goal now is to continue to bring it to new areas within New York City and Westchester, serving different schools, different families. But first and foremost, our focus is on quality control and making sure we’re not growing too fast.”
Trainor capitalized on the opportunity to open a Westchester branch in 2020, which allowed for “a small, COVID-compliant” camp, he says. “Our classes are exceptional; our teachers are exceptional; our training is exceptional, and we keep on investing more into our teams and into our curriculum, so kids can have the creative experience.”