Case Studies & Success Stories
Kumon Math and Reading Center of Norwalk
For more than 50 years, Kumon’s after-school academic enrichment program has helped children achieve success worldwide. Kumon strives to instill in children the desire to achieve and the motivation to learn on their own. Students advance through the program at their own pace. The emphasis on individualized learning helps each student become focused, motivated and self-reliant.
Dulce Gandhi, Director of the Kumon Math and Reading Center of Norwalk, talks about venturing out on her own to start a business that helps students learn independently.
“My goal as a Kumon instructor is to help every student gain confidence and excel in everything they do. For many of my students, Kumon has become a second chance. For others, Kumon has accelerated their learning and exploring above grade-level education and given them access to academically talented programs in high school and beyond. The pace of the program is tailored to each individual student’s needs, encouraging each child to work at their fullest potential, in order to not only gain knowledge and mastery but also confidence in themselves. I love what I do and enjoy mentoring my students to achieve their dreams.
After obtaining my MBA degree, I worked for a major pharmaceutical company as a project manager and principal statistical analyst for 16 years. I truly enjoyed what I did but there came a time when I realized that I was spending a lot of time on work and not enough time dedicated to my kids. So, I started looking for opportunities where I could still give myself challenge, still keep growing, but also have a nice work-life balance. I did the research and I felt I could make an impact on Norwalk students and that’s the reason I opened a Kumon franchise in Norwalk in 2012. I had been a ‘Kumon Mom’ since 2003 before becoming a Kumon owner and instructor. As a Kumon Mom, I had seen both my kids excel well beyond school. My daughter has graduated from UPenn and now works on Wall Street. My son is at Lehigh University. I know first-hand what this program has done for my own children.
We now have about 20 to 30 students and five to seven instructors at any given time. We take students from three years-old to high school. They start by working with a teacher and two or three other kids until they are able to actually be working independently in the classroom. The goal of the Kumon program is to get each child working to their potential and to get them to grade-level as soon as possible. Then to get them working from six months to three years above grade-level. A kindergartener working with me for a year should be reading at second or third grade-level. Our math goals for students are to get them to multiplication by first grade, pre-algebra by fourth grade, and advanced algebra by sixth grade.
Fifty percent of my students’ families have learned about Kumon by word of mouth. I am a strong believer in giving back to the community and you will find me in and around town actively engaged in various school fundraisers, cultural programs, and theater shows. I am a firm supporter and an active member of the Norwalk PTO Council and the Norwalk Education Foundation. I am also a board member of NICE, the Norwalk International Cultural Exchange. I understand and appreciate what my community is doing for me and this is my time to give back. Being close to the community helps me create an engaging and positive classroom environment for each student.
After 11 years of doing this, I’m still learning every single day. Constantly learning how to help students learn easier.”
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