E.nopi is a small, friendly inviting place on Prince Street offering tutoring services to children.
While the slightly odd name may conjure up an image of a tech start-up, it's actually a place of learning. The name stems from its Korean roots.
“It’s a place where parents are going to take the extra effort to keep kids at the head of the class,” said Jessie Sample, director of the math, reading and writing tutoring center that opened last October. “Our curriculum is individualized. We can cater our curriculum for a child who is struggling, in the middle of class or someone who is exceeding beyond grade level.”
is a franchise that started in Korea and caters to ages three years to middle school. Today it’s global with millions of students enrolled worldwide. There’s a branch in Annandale, Va., that conducts classes exclusively in Korean, appealing to the large Korean community there.
The Old Town branch is an English-speaking tutoring service with a teacher student ratio of 3-to-1.
Sample used to work as the head instructor at a similar center in Ryebrook, N.Y., but she and her husband became enamored with Old Town after becoming familiar with it while her husband, Andrew Sanborn, was in graduate school at the University of Virginia.
Kristin Armitage of Arlington sends her four-year-old daughter Grace to E.nopi. She won a raffle at a community fair for one free month of tuition. She didn’t expect to continue but said her daughter has shown significant progress once signing on.
“Within that first month, she came home and was able to write her name,” said Armitage. “We had gone over the numbers and letters prior to E.nopi and she could recognize them, but couldn’t write them...We kept going back."
Armitage said the cost of $200 a month is a tug on her family’s finances, but it’s worth it for the improvement she’s seen in her daughter’s learning.
Armitage added that it’s been helpful that her daughter has had to learn to sit and follow directions.
“Our tutoring philosophy is based on building foundational skills in a fun and interactive way that includes repetition, but rather than just going through a page of addition problems, you’re doing a puzzle doing those problems, having to do a matching game using those problems, ” said Sample.