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The Story Behind PLEASED


This year, my grandmother, Misia, would have turned 108.  PLEASED, the name of this tutoring company, was inspired by her. Over her 100 years of life, Grandma’s optimism never wavered, and her smile heartened everyone she touched. 


Growing up, I would dial my grandmother’s phone number, 753-2733, any time I needed to hear a cheerful “Hello Larushka”. That was the landline which my mother, as a young teenager, decoded to spell P-L-E-A-S-E-D. When Grandma passed away peacefully, seven years ago, Mom couldn’t bear to give up that magical number. She kept it hovering in the Cloud, just in case one of her kids ever wanted a landline. As I was setting up my own business, Mom suggested that I tap it for the company’s phone. That's when the whole concept crystallized: the phone number, company name and inner soul of my venture all wrapped up in one word: PLEASED! Well, six words, once I extended it to Private Learning-- Excel and SucceED. A teacher always likes to clarify and elaborate.

My grandmother was so proud of my work as a teacher and literacy coach. Somehow, somewhere, I know she is beyond PLEASED, on the other end of the line, knowing that I am channeling both her love and her wisdom to teach children with joy and rigor.

Lara Pinto Stein | Founder & Educator


Our Philosophy

Considering the whole child is the cornerstone of our approach to learning. Whether your objective is reinforcement, enrichment, test prep, specialized instruction utilizing the Orton Gillingham Approach, the ultimate goal is to inspire independent learners. This can be achieved through in-person or virtual tutoring. We start with a thorough academic assessment and then plan individual lessons to meet your child's specific needs and academic goals. Lessons are designed to engage children by integrating an element of fun into a rigorous session. True success can only be achieved when children are excited to learn. As a result, your child will gain self-confidence as well as the ability to persevere through challenges.  Collaboration between teachers and families is critical to your child's success; therefore, parents will receive periodic progress updates and when appropriate, we are happy to communicate directly with teachers.

Meet Our Tutors

All tutors at PLEASED are experienced educators with extensive classroom experience and have obtained at least one master's degree. Each child is thoughtfully matched with a tutor based on area of expertise and personality. As a teaching community, we take our own professional development seriously. We collaborate with each other to share particularly effective approaches, and at least monthly we meet formally to brainstorm and learn about the newest teaching techniques and technologies.


Lara Pinto Stein

Lara, the founder of PLEASED Learning,  continues to fulfil her lifelong passion of infusing children with the joy of learning, motivate them to reach their greatest potential, and equip them with the personalized techniques that will enable them to achieve their goals.  Over the past fifteen years as a classroom teacher, literacy coach and private tutor, she has helped hundreds of children with a wide diversity of needs reach their potential. 


Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz, M.S. CCC-SLP is a bilingual (Spanish) Speech-Language Pathologist and experienced tutor.  She believes in creating a positive and energetic learning environment for her students to help them achieve their highest potential. Her areas of speciality include executive functioning deficits, reading, writing, vocabulary, organizational skills, and Spanish.

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Jenny Flaumenhaft

Jenny Flaumenhaft is a teacher and lifelong learner. She received her BA from Colby College majoring in both Education and English and a Masters in Curriculum and Teaching from Columbia Teachers College. She has worked in various public and private school settings as well as in curriculum design. Jenny has taught English Second Language Learning on a Fulbright Scholarship in Thailand, remote Kindergarten, and  currently teaches first grade at Friends Seminary.


What PLEASED Families Say


"Lara connected with our daughter instantly. Within three minutes of walking through the door, I saw that my daughter, a tough critic, who generally takes considerable time to warm to new situations, was 'all in.' She has asked for Lara almost every day since, anticipating her 'Lara sessions' with overwhelming enthusiasm and personal investment. Lara has the unique ability to bring out a sense of confidence, purpose and perseverance by establishing a genuine connection with children, rooted in trust and warmth. Lara's talents extend well beyond her impressive background as a seasoned educator and literacy coach. Her enthusiasm, creativity, warmth, and personal investment in her work and relationships with children and families simply can't be taught; yet it is those attributes that make all the difference in empowering children to learn new skills and work through challenges. We are forever grateful to Lara, not only for the remarkable growth that we have seen in our daughter, both academically and personally, but for the love and trust that our daughter feels for Lara, and for the wise and well-informed sounding board Lara provides us as parents. Lara adapted masterfully to the new reality that was abruptly thrust upon us by the pandemic. She has maintained her special relationship, momentum and innovative strategies with our daughter via Zoom. My husband and I have a small handful of teachers who we look back on now, and warmly credit as being among the most influential and beloved adult figures in our lives. Lara has affected our daughter's confidence and love of learning so significantly. We know that she will always hold a special place in our daughter's life. Lara is a 'once in a lifetime teacher.' We could not recommend her more highly." 

—  Parent of 6-year-old

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