Noted serial entrepreneur and learning center owner Franco Verdino has acquired the FasTracKids and Eye Level Learning Center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Driven by a passion for providing the world’s best supplemental enrichment programs to New York families, Franco and his team aim to renovate and revive one of Manhattan’s most prized and historically important learning centers on the Upper East Side. With their most recent successful venture being a takeover of the East Village Eye Level center, Franco and his team currently run and oversee 10 learning centers throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.
Among the noted specialists contributing expertise is Veronica Verdino, Franco’s wife and partner, an expert educator and Teacher Trainer who holds dual Masters Degrees in Early Childhood Education and Health Science. Daisy Farrugia, Director of the Park Slope Center, holds a Masters Degrees in Special Education and brings to the team expertise in Gifted & Talented Preparation. Blair Lord will stay on as UES Center Director, and Assistant Regional Director and current East Village Director Ryan Drucker will contribute progressive managerial overaight. The team’s efforts are bolstered by partnerships with global educational experts at FasTracKids International and Daekyo America, Inc. (aka Eye Level Learning) – world-leading developers of innovative and effective enrichment programs for children ages 2 to 15.
In 2003, Franco and Veronica Verdino opened the original Brooklyn FasTracKids Learning Center (NYC’s first), inspired by the untapped opportunity to provide accelerated education to gifted and potentially gifted children. “Back then, there were no gifted learning centers in New York. We were true pioneers,” says Franco. Confident in the research-backed approach provided by FasTracKids, the Verdinos adopted the philosophy that, with the proper instruction and reinforcement, most children could perform at the levels that qualify them as gifted. “In 2003, G&T Test prep didn’t exist!” Franco says. “Our unique approach of building skills, traits, characteristics, and vocabulary, starting at the early age of 2 to 3 years old, was and still is truly innovative and impactful.” The Brooklyn location’s first 3-year-old group graduated with well over 90% acceptance into NYC Gifted Programs. Having seen the program produce real-world results, the newly invigorated team became determined to expand to all neighborhoods in NYC.
According to Franco, “We are excited to be servicing the Upper East Side Manhattan Market with our cumulative expertise in providing NYC’s best and most effective enrichment programs! With our long track record of success, we look forward to continuing to make a big impact on children’s educational outcomes, in Manhattan, and throughout NYC!”
The Verdino team’s previous NYC achievements include:
2003: Launched NYC’s first gifted development program for 2-to 7-year-olds in Brooklyn, NY.
2006: Launched supplemental G&T Test Prep to help children raise their scores on the NYC Gifted & Talented Test, making them more likely to achieve eligibility for Citywide G&T schools.
2006: Launched E.nopi (now Eye Level Learning) to help gifted students ages 4 to 15 years old continue to excel in Gifted & Talented programs with an accelerated academic (Math & English) and critical-thinking focus.
2014: Launched FTKny.com to help NYC families more easily find programs for their gifted and accelerated students.