Without question it’s been an exciting year for GainVille Learning Center, a one-stop hub for educational, cultural, and workforce training, set across all three floors of the tidy brick building at 17 Ames Avenue in downtown Rutherford. Stated in GainVille’s mission is its dedication to educating enlightened global citizens, and visitors walking inside the center are greeted by an international atmosphere that celebrates the countless ways a multi-cultural education enriches each of us. World flags and posters of exotic locales abound, along with a welcoming sense of encouragement that students of all needs and backgrounds have come to a special place for their learning needs.
Central to GainVille’s memorable 2015 was their English as a Second Language (ESL) programs earning certification by New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Even more impressive was the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation the center received last year. Simply put, GainVille’s educational programs are now officially recognized by U.S. Department of Education. For brother and sister team Diala and Hannibal Pharaon, endorsements such as these mark a significant step in the evolution and widening outreach of the learning center.
“Our Middle States accreditation has provided legitimacy to all our programs,” says Diala Pharaon, GainVille’s managing director and co-founder. “It’s given us the mandate to expand into both school communities and corporate interests.”
This expansion of GainVille’s outreach is central to the learning center’s 7-year vision, identified as part of their Middle States accreditation. “It’s allowed us to build relationships with local communities outside Rutherford,” Diala adds. Since that time, GainVille has begun offering intercultural training programs for businesses and other organizations, as well foreign language immersion programs at local schools that currently do not offer these types of classes.
GainVille Learning Center has been operating in Rutherford for the past seven years, with Diala focusing on operations, business development and strategy, while Hannibal manages the center’s marketing and world languages program. In deciding upon Rutherford as the location for their learning center, they were immediately attracted to the quaintness of downtown, as well as its close proximity to Hudson, Essex, and Passaic counties and the multi-cultural populations found there.
Rutherford and its accessible location presented the ideal setting to establish the learning center, which initially offered language classes in French, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin and Italian, ESL instruction, private tutoring, as well as educational assessment. Now with GainVille’s programs newly recognized on both the state and regional level, the center sees its role as an ever-growing resource for an array of businesses and organizations wanting to provide their workforce with English language and cultural training. Of course, Diala, Hannibal, their instructors and staff continue to work individually with people from all backgrounds.
“Having the Department of Labor certification gives us the ability to help immigrant communities for both academic and career-based English-language services,” Diala says, noting how teaming up with the state has expanded GainVille’s outreach to the many different cultures that make up this part of New Jersey.
The Middle States accreditation has also made GainVille more attractive to international students looking to study in this country. Part of this broader outreach is GainVille’s new “Sights and Sounds NYC” summer camp, which offers teens from overseas the opportunity to be immersed in English language learning while also gaining an American cultural perspective by spending time in New York City. Last summer’s campers, made up of a group of teens from Spain, kicked off this exciting new program at GainVille.
One of the many that are happening inside the red brick building at 17 Ames Avenue.
As Diala likes to say, “We’ve really become a one-stop learning destination.”