New education center aims to support Midland students, parents, schools

No more Common Core stress-induced breakdowns at home. Well, at least, that’s the goal. 

Sometimes all it takes is a helpful, and willing, adult who sits down with a child to break down that new math formula. But parents and guardians don’t always have the time, before or after school, to solve for “x” in the average dual-income home.  

R1SE Education and Recreation has been providing tutoring, mentoring, enrichment, recreation and social education services for a few years in Freeland. Now, R1SE Owner Trevor Szafranski will open another facility on August 22 to serve elementary and middle students at 800 Cambridge Street, near Midland High School.


“It’s a very personal experience, even though it’s a big building,” Szafranski said of the Midland site, which is 8,000 square feet and will be open both before and after school. “This isn’t only a place for you to drop off your kids.”

With families juggling work, academics, extra-curriculars and pandemic challenges, the new education center aims to relieve some of the burden placed on caretakers of children while encouraging students to “soar” in grades K-8.

As a former public school educator, Szafranski said he worked with students of all ages, which helped form the idea for the age-inclusive environment that is coming soon to Midland. 

“Anytime I really infused creativity and innovation, it turned into success,” he said. “They were energized by it, and that’s what we try to do at R1SE. We’re all about connecting and exciting students with an environment that’s different than what they have had before.”

That, Szafranski said, can in turn support regional educators, who have faced a difficult past two-plus years. 

“Our number one goal, outside of helping the students and parents, is supporting our teachers and administrators by making their life easier,” he said. “We can provide just a little extra support and move the students towards mastery. We really want to support our local teachers and administrators.”

After the Freeland location opened in 2019, Szafranski said parents and guardians became excited over the concept. Then, he said they walked into the facility to say, “The pictures don’t do it justice.”

Sight unseen, Midland parents have already contacted R1SE with inquiries. Prices begin at $16 per hour, which Szafranski said are roughly one-third of typical tutoring prices.

Bringing lessons to Midland from Freeland location

The R1SE experience takes recreation and blends in social education to further develop children seeking academic support.

The building is structured for intentional programs. For example, tables built to support conversations are scattered throughout the second floor to encourage collaboration. 

R1SE Education and Recreation plans to open another facility August 22 to serve Midland students in grades K-8 at 800 Cambridge Street, near Midland High School.

R1SE Education and Recreation plans to open another facility August 22 to serve Midland students in grades K-8 at 800 Cambridge Street, near Midland High School.


Katy Kildee/Midland Daily News

R1SE Education and Recreation plans to open another facility August 22 to serve Midland students in grades K-8 at 800 Cambridge Street, near Midland High School.

R1SE Education and Recreation plans to open another facility August 22 to serve Midland students in grades K-8 at 800 Cambridge Street, near Midland High School.


Katy Kildee/Midland Daily News

R1SE Education and Recreation plans to open another facility August 22 to serve Midland students in grades K-8 at 800 Cambridge Street, near Midland High School.

The clientele at R1SE in Freeland is made up of all types of students. Szafranski explained that some students are in need of a lift after being designated at “low” achievement, while “high” achievers may be in need of a challenge. 

“All students have unbelievable talents; we just have to help them to find out what their talents are,” Szafranski said.

The center holds many unique items catered to the support-based experience, including an Infinity Gaming Table, which offers an interactive digital approach to traditional board games. 

R1SE Education and Recreation, which features an interactive gaming table, plans to open another facility August 22 to serve Midland students in grades K-8 at 800 Cambridge Street, near Midland High School.

R1SE Education and Recreation, which features an interactive gaming table, plans to open another facility August 22 to serve Midland students in grades K-8 at 800 Cambridge Street, near Midland High School.

Katy Kildee/Midland Daily News

“We get the latest and greatest of everything,” Szafranski said. He also mentioned some stakeholders have dubbed the Freeland center “an Apple Inc.” in terms of innovating new approaches to education. 

In order to meet families’ needs, Szafranski said 25 to 30 staff members will be working at the Midland location, which reflects the Freeland staff count. 

He said this staffing model allows for flexibility and specialized one-on-one time as needed. Szafranski’s 15 years of experience in a traditional school environment led him to see where staff could sometimes use extra support. 

“I don’t want them to ever feel spread thin,” he said. “I want my educators to feel the exact opposite. By overstaffing, yes, we make less money, but it’s totally worth it because now the amazing people that I pull in, we keep them.”

Limited transportation will be available through R1SE over the next academic year for Midland Public Schools students, including those from Adams, Siebert, Chestnut Hill, Plymouth, Woodcrest, Northeast and Jefferson schools. 

For more information about scheduling, visit the R1SE website at r1seup.com.