NORTHFIELD — The red carpet was rolled out and tables were filled with trophies in front of the Kumon Math and Reading Center on Saturday, Oct. 24, for the annual celebration of students' achievements. Nandini Singh, director of Kumon, said normally they would need to use the Northfield Community School to have all the students and family members there to celebrate their student’s success, but with COVID-19 and social distancing, they kept the festivities outside their Tilton Road center.
Students waited in line with their families to walk the red carpet to Singh, who presented them with a trophy or medal that was commensurate with what they had completed or participated in during the year. Each of the students paused for photos with their newly acquired hardware along with the director as families snapped photos.
All three of the Yerra family children, of Galloway Township, are studying at Kumon. Six-year-old twins Raja and Ran are reading well beyond their grade level. Younger sister Anjali, 4, is learning letters, spelling and concepts to set her up to be a successful young reader. Their father had been a teacher at Kumon and said it was a must for his children because it helps establish good habits early.
During the pandemic, most students moved to virtual learning and once they were permitted to return, some did a hybrid of virtual and in-center learning. While Singh said they did have some students drop their Kumon reading and math classes, they gained new students who needed some additional help with their reading and math.
“Parents find value in the Kumon method of learning, and they bring their children back,” Singh said. “All of our assistants are trained in the Kumon method of instructing the children on how to answer and complete their worksheets. We have a good mix of students who are working to get to their grade level, those who are working at their grade level and even students who are working 3-plus years beyond their grade level.”
Singh continued, “The two subjects we offer are math and reading and have a good number of students enrolled in each of those subjects. Good math and reading skills provide a good foundation for learning among the students, no matter what they pursue in the future.” According to the website, Kumon identifies the root of the child’s struggle and begins there. They use carefully designed worksheets to ensure the concepts are mastered and say that active learning helps to prevent future struggles. “We are here to unlock the potential of children so they can achieve more on their own,” he said.
For Ed Ryan, whose daughter Emily has been a student at Kumon for three years, Kumon has been everything he could have asked for his daughter. “Without a doubt Kumon has made Emily a stronger student. It is challenging, and they have helped her develop good study habits and organizational skills; those are life skills,” Ryan said. “Sure, there are times when she would rather do something else, kids still need to be kids, but she is reading and enjoying it, doing well in her school work. The people here are great, it is a real family atmosphere.”
Emily Ryan said the best part of learning at Kumon is that she loves to read now, preferably a Harry Potter book.
Shreevas Arunprasad, a 10-year-old from Egg Harbor Township, first came to Kumon to improve his math and reading skills. A four-year veteran of the program, Arunprasad is now part of the accelerated math and reading in his school as well as in the school district's gifted and talented program, something his parents say is a direct result of his work at Kumon.
Singh said the Kumon Reading and Math Center in Northfield has the highest growth rate in the northeast region. They enroll students from 3 years old through high school. For more information follow them on Facebook, call 609-833-2212 or see campaign.kumon.com/tutoring/
The center is at 543 Tilton Road.
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