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S. ABINGTON TWP. — Rati Kanani, director of the Kumon Math and Reading Center which opened in September at 860 Northern Blvd., knows first hand the benefits the program has to offer.

“I started the Kumon program in seventh grade and stayed until 10th grade while attending school in Oklahoma.,” Kanani said. “I worked for three years at a Kumon Center while attending the University of Miami.”

Kumon is open to children age 3 to seniors in high school. Some students come because they are behind in school and others come to get ahead.

When a student first enters the program, he or she starts with an orientation and placement test.

There is currently 35 children enrolled and the center employs four instructors along with the owner.

There are a library where children can check out books and a waiting room for parents.

Students meet on Mondays and Thursdays at various times between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. If a student is just working on reading or math, he or she stays a half hour. If a student is working on both subjects, he or she stays an hour.

Kumon started in 1954 in Japan when a math teacher and father Toru Kumon wanted his son Takeshi to develop a love for learning. He also wanted his son to be prepared for high school and college. Each day Toru gave his son short incremental assignments to complete. He mastered that skill before moving on to a new concept. Kumon is now in its 60th year and has helped millions of children in 30 countries, according to its website.

The program is based on worksheets and the children work at their own pace. For the younger students, they may look at a group of objects on a page and count them. They learn how to trace and write letters, eventually writing their names. The teachers use flash cards to help them learn to read.

The older students may read a story and work on vocabulary. They learn grammar and punctuation, sentence building, understanding paragraphs, summary and interpretation.

For math, they may identify odd and even numbers. They learn about addition, subtraction, division and multiplication, solving equations, graphs, fractions and algebra. The goal is for the students to learn calculus in sixth grade.

The students are also assigned homework.

“My daughter Sarah Mukherjee started Kumon when we lived in Charlotte, North Carolina,’ said one mother, Rina Mukerjee. “We moved here and found a Kumon program in the area. She is introduced to a concept like fractions in math. I don’t have to have to explain it to her and she can do it by herself.”

Sarah is 9 years old and in the fourth grade at Waverly Elementary School.

“I had a family eat next door at Subway. They then came over and looked at signs in my window,” said Kanani. “They signed their child up, who is doing multiplication in kindergarten.”

For more information or to enroll your child, call 570-800-2800 or send an email to clarkssummit-pa@kumon.com.