Kumon Opens First Franchise in Montana

Second Generation Entrepreneur Brings Passion for Education to Missoula

MISSOULA, Mont.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Kumon, the world's largest after-school math and reading enrichment program, opens its first center in Montana at 105 SW Higgins Avenue in Missoula. Kumon's individualized approach helps children progress by ability rather than age or grade. In the U.S., 200,000 students from preschool to high school are developing advanced skills and confidence through Kumon's Method of learning.

In a recent report, "Teaching Math to the Talented," published in Education Next, Montana students rank No. 23 out of all the states and only 5.6% of its students are performing at advanced math levels - equivalent to students in Spain, Latvia and Russia. America's lack of advanced students impacts the country's future economic growth and that's why owner and director Stacia Smith cares deeply about helping Missoula students in her after-school enrichment program. More than half of U.S. Kumon students study advanced math, and 24 percent of these students are learning materials two to three years above their grade level.

"Kumon motivates children to believe their abilities are unlimited," said Smith. "Parents want to help their children develop self-reliance, independent problem-solving skills and the motivation to excel both in and outside the classroom."

Following in the footsteps of her mother who owns two centers, Smith is a second generation franchisee. She earned a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Montana, and worked in retail for twelve years before combining her passion for business with a profession that would help society. Already knowledgeable about the program from her experience as both a student and employee, Smith was inspired to open her own Kumon Center.

"I believe that education is the key to building a strong community and Kumon has a successful method of teaching children. I can speak to the fact, as a former student myself, that it truly works to help students build skills they will use throughout their life," said Smith.

The Missoula opening celebrates Kumon's expansion into its 48th state. Kumon opened its first center in the United States in 1974, and has since grown to more than 1,334 centers across the country. The tutoring business is growing at a rate of more than five percent a year according to the Education Industry Association, making it a viable business for entrepreneurs seeking personal, professional and financial satisfaction. This year, Kumon has increased franchise signings by more than 80 percent compared to last year as the demand for supplemental education increases.

Students visit the Missoula Center on Mondays and Thursdays for a half-hour per subject between 2:30-6:30 p.m. Call the center at (406) 552-3314 to learn how daily practice and mastery of materials can increase confidence, improve concentration and develop better study skills in students.

About Kumon Math and Reading Centers

Kumon [Koo-mon] is an after-school math and reading enrichment program that unlocks the potential of children so they can achieve more on their own. Founded in Japan in 1958, the learning method uses an individualized approach that helps children develop a solid command of math and reading skills. Through daily practice and mastery of materials, students increase confidence, improve concentration and develop better study skills. Kumon has 26,000 centers in 46 countries and more than four million students studying worldwide. The company's North American headquarters is in Teaneck, New Jersey. Visit www.kumon.com to learn more.

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