Kumon Math and Reading Center, an after-school education program company with nearly 1,500 franchises across the U.S., is opening a third center in Fresno and fifth in the Valley this fall.
Arshdeep Kaur, who has a master’s degree in economics and a background in teaching, is the owner of the new franchise in northwest Fresno. She was raised and educated in India; after she married, the family relocated several times for her husband’s work, including several years in Brazil, before moving to the U.S. about seven years ago. Her own daughter’s three years attending a Kumon center “was the most inspirational and motivational point” driving her to invest in her own Kumon franchise. “I could see very marked improvement in my daughter’s results,” Kaur said. “It was a tremendous achievement for her.”
It’s definitely designed to accelerate a student’s level of learning and make them reach much higher levels.
Arshdeep Kaur, Kumon Math and Reading Center of Fresno - Bullard instructor/franchise owner
Kaur is opening the center in the Fig Tree Plaza shopping center at the southeast corner of Bullard and West avenues.
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Kumon’s first Fresno franchise opened near Champlain and Perrin avenues in northeast Fresno in 1995. A second opened two years ago at Herndon and Milburn avenues in northwest Fresno. Kumon also has centers in Clovis and Hanford.
The Kumon program is named for its founder, Toru Kumon, who in 1954 sought to help his son improve his math studies in his second-grade class in Japan. Kumon wrote calculation worksheets for his son to work on each day, checking each day’s work for mistakes and re-doing that work the next day before moving on to the next skill. According to the company, Kumon’s son improved from basic addition and subtraction problems to solving differential and integral calculus by the time he was in the sixth grade.
The worksheets and philosophy Kumon developed for his son became the basis for the Kumon Method now used by the learning centers. In addition to the U.S. franchises, the company has more than 24,000 centers outside the U.S. The centers work with students from pre-school through high school.
“It’s definitely designed to accelerate a student’s level of learning and make them reach much higher levels,” Kaur said. “In Kumon you will find about 60 percent of students are studying above their grade level, and about one-third of them are actually studying two or three grade levels above.”
Students enrolled in Kumon attend after-school classes at the center two days each week; each session is 30 minutes. They also receive worksheets for the other five days that are designed to be completed in a half hour. “The good thing is you don’t have to spend so much time,” Kaur said. “It’s only about 30 minutes a day. That can easily fit into anybody’s schedule who’s actually willing to learn.”
Kaur said she is doing some grassroots marketing, distributing brochures to homes in the nearby neighborhoods as well as reaching out to local schools and places of worship. After starting to spread the word last month, she began getting some phone calls right away. Also, inquiries to Kumon’s website generate referrals to franchised centers based on ZIP code.
The center is opening with one employee in addition to Kaur and a partner, with an initial capacity of 300 students on Tuesday and Friday afternoons and evenings. As enrollment grows, Kaur said more employees will be hired and additional days added to the center’s schedule.
The new Kumon center is at 1731 W. Bullard Ave., and the phone number is 559-825-2028.