The beginnings workshop is unsurpassed anywhere throughout the United States and Canada in its supervision of children, teens, and young adults. This unprecedented level of care is provided throughout all educational, professional, and cultural activities, all meals, and especially overnight. As a result, the workshop enjoys a spotless twenty-nine year track record, (founded in 1984), of perfect safety and health.
Throughout its long history, encompassing a total student population of more than ten thousand children, teens and young adults from all parts of the United States and Canada, there has never occurred a single major accident, injury or illness, nor a single medical insurance claim involving so much as one penny in reimbursement, nor even a single significant complaint of any nature whatsoever. For authentication, please consult the New York State Department of Consumer Affairs, the New York State Attorney General's Office, the New York State Office of Children and Family Protective Services, New York State Social Services/ Family and Children's Services Division, the New Jersey and New York State Departments of Health, the New York State Better Business Bureau, (A+ rating), as well as thousands of available references among alumni of all ages and their parents, from all parts of the United States and Canada.
The primary focus of each workshop is the self-worth, confidence, communication skills, eating habits, hygiene, self-discipline, and maturity of every student. These dynamics, along with the proper development of one's God-given artistic talent, are considered not only an essential component of the program, but are viewed as the most important fundamentals of professional success.
Chaperone to student ration in New York is 1:7. In London and Hollywood it is 1:4. Chaperones are present at all times of the day and night, including meals, traveling, activities, classes, and overnight. No student of any age is ever alone or unsupervised for even one moment at any time throughout any workshop.
There is a thorough orientation session, encompassing two full days of training, for all supervisory staff prior to each six-day workshop, dealing almost exclusively with basic tenets of health, safety, and supervision. This is conducted jointly by Mr. Sklar and the workshop’s Assistant Director. Additionally, in New York, there are two-hour chaperone meetings daily during each workshop to monitor and evaluate the personal progress and growth of each student. These meetings are the basis of detailed, constructive written evaluations which are mailed to the parents of each student following the workshop.
Although cell phones and internet communication devices are not permitted during the workshop, all students are required to keep a daily journal of their experiences, and additionally to write to their parents on at least three occasions during each workshop session. All parents have direct and immediate emergency contact with Mr. Sklar at any hour of the day or evening, and are of course notified immediately of any significant problem involving their child.
Job requirements for chaperones include a state-mandated background check, verified experience and references in child care, past general employment experience and references, an examination of high school and college transcripts, a comprehensive personal interview with Mr. Sklar, two (2) full days of pre-workshop training, a physical health examination verified by a physician, and the execution of a sixty (60) page legal contract governing specific duties and responsibilities.
Approximately sixty (60%) per cent of all chaperones are alumni students or chaperones, who, in addition to undergoing the above screening, must first work successfully at least twice as chaperones for the New York workshop before becoming qualified for chaperone positions in London and Hollywood.