Store on Pacific Avenue fulfills dream for former English professor
Residents of Forest Grove no longer have to trek to Powell's City of Books in Portland to spend a pleasant hour browsing used books.
Periscope Books and Tutoring, located at 1920 Pacific Ave., provides a cozy environment complete with big chairs and a fireplace. In the classroom space at the back, tutors work with students of different ages on writing, reading, math, science and computer skills.
Periscope also offers creative writing workshops and affordable ACT/SAT prep classes.
The owner, Lorri Nandrea, learned the used book trade in the 1980s on Denver, Colorado's 'Book Row,' a locale made famous by John Dunton's bestselling mystery novels. She went on to pursue an academic career, earning a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in New York and becoming an English professor in Wisconsin.
'Last year's political turmoil in Wisconsin provided a needed push toward change,' Nandrea said. Running Periscope Books and Tutoring allows her to combine three loves: books, teaching, and the west coast.
It also gives her a place to display the various rocks, shells and curiosities she's accumulated over the years (kids love the old Royal typewriter).
Parents sometimes think of private tutoring as a last resort to prevent a student from failing. Nandrea hopes to change that perception.
'We can help students who are failing,' she said. 'But tutoring can also benefit students who are passing or excelling. In a time of shrinking budgets, growing class sizes and so much emphasis on testing, even the best classroom teachers can't always individualize instruction.'
Nandrea knows some parents can't afford to pay for tutoring, especially in this economy. 'We have tried hard to make our programs affordable and accessible for students in this area,' she said, noting that Periscope's starting rates ($6 an hour for small groups and $18 an hour for individual tutoring) are below market for a tutoring center. 'But parents realize that they have only one shot at educating their children. Unlike other expenses, it's not something that can wait until the economy turns around.'