Why We Started Sylvan -Darien?
Gwynne and Douglas Campbell “found” Sylvan in 1984, during a time when Doug was a corporate marketing director in Stamford and teaching part-time at a local university, and Gwynne was at Greenwich Academy. Gwynne grew up in Portland, the daughter of two educators, one of whom was a school headmaster, She knew many of the people who had been involved with Sylvan’s founding in Portland OR (see History below). In her educational work, she too had seen the growing need for supplemental educational services. It was a perfect fit , so Doug and Gwynne opened the first center on the east coast in February 1985 after 6 months of planning, training, and research. In the mid 1980s Doug later helped launch Sylvan’s national advertising campaign and owner’s association. Since then we have worked with thousands of students. We have grown from a small center with a staff of three, which offered two basic programs, to one that requires a staff of 18, to provide seven different programs to students of all ages. Currently we’re working with twenty-five different schools in six towns (Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Greenwich, Norwalk, and South Salem), and we confer regularly with numerous professionals in the areas of school placement, guidance, pediatrics, speech and language, and psycho/educational services.
I look forward to speaking with you personally about the services we provide at Sylvan-Darien.
Gwynne M. Campbell Douglas Campbell III
Owner and Executive Director CEO/Owner
The History of Sylvan
Parents frequently ask “Who is Mr. Sylvan?” Sylvan Learning Corporation was founded in 1976, by W. Berry Fowler, a seasoned junior high teacher and department chair in the Anaheim, California public schools. Fowler’s dream was to provide extra help and individualized attention to the many students falling behind in school due to a lack of understanding the basic skills of reading or math, and to do it on a national basis.
Fowler developed a comprehensive battery of diagnostic tests that broke down the learning process for math and reading into its most basic parts, so that weaknesses and unmastered skills could be identified, thereby allowing instructors to teach the student’s specific educational needs.
After a thorough analysis of available materials, he correlated each possible test result with the best available material suited to teach and/or strengthen the skill. This correlation system, proprietary to Sylvan Learning Corporation and the individually owned centers, was a major breakthrough in the educational publishing field.
Over the years as a teacher, Fowler developed his own successful teaching techniques, and he had seen first-hand the effect that positive reinforcement, continuing success and individualized instruction could have on a student’s performance. He applied those concepts and techniques, along with this new diagnostic and prescriptive approach, in his own prototype learning center in Portland, Oregon. For four years he monitored the results, brought in top educators from the area to help him “fine tune” the programs, and then – satisfied with results he was achieving and the positive response from parents and schools – he sold his first Sylvan Learning Center franchise in November, 1980.