Cherry, 14; Instructor, Dan Kimura
Since receiving the honorable title of “Most Philosophical 8th Grader in America”, Cherry, a Kumon Math completer, has been nothing but smiles in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. This dedicated 14-year-old’s eloquent poem won the first place title in the National Kids Philosophy Slam. She credits her success to Kumon. Through the Kumon Method, Cherry has learned to never give up on something you really believe in. “The idea of persevering to make it to my ultimate goal was from Kumon,” she says. Kumon Math worksheets are designed so students can learn new concepts independently through a self-learning method. “The benefit of learning on your own is that you can explore different ways of thinking, and you can go through difficult concepts on your own, without help,” Cherry says. With the support and motivation of her family and teachers, Cherry was able to successfully complete her ultimate goal of winning the competition, as well as completing the Kumon Math program. Both Cherry’s brother and sister have been equally dedicated to completing the Kumon Math program. “The greatest factor in me continuing was my brother and sister. Quitting was not allowed,” Cherry explains. When she completed Kumon Math in 5th grade, Cherry was one of the most selective groups of students, less than 10, in North America who finished high school calculus in elementary school. “Her achievement in Kumon is exceptional. While most Kumon Math completers are high school students, she completed in the 5th grade,” exclaims Dan Kimura, Cherry’s Kumon Instructor. During her 7 years of Kumon study, she was absent in only one month. That is an achievement amongst itself. Cherry’s mom, Noriko Tomatsu is overjoyed with her daughter’s accomplishments. “I am very proud of her, and hope she continues accomplishing her goals for the future.” Kumon has helped Cherry become self-confident and understand the true meaning of perseverance. “It has mainly taught her that when you are competing, you are not comparing with others. The competition is between you and yourself,” Mrs. Tomatsu explains.