News 10 NBC Small Business Spotlight: Mathnasium

Sep 19, 2020 | Pittsford-Brighton

Brett Davidsen
Updated: September 16, 2020 09:58 PM
Created: September 16, 2020 09:55 PM

HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WHEC) — For many children, math can be intimidating and frustrating. And in the middle of a pandemic without as much face-to-face instruction, it can be even more daunting.

"Some families are specifically coming to me because they say, well, my child — when it comes to math — they really need somebody to be interacting with in person," Asiya Ali said.

Ali owns and operates the local franchise of Mathnasium in Henrietta, which provides math tutoring services to children from kindergarten to 12th grade.

"Mathnasium is essentially a math learning center that focuses on helping kids to either catch up, keep up, or get ahead in math, Ali said.

A teacher by profession, Ali and her husband were looking to start a business. And Ali wanted it to be in the education field. They opened Mathnasium in 2010 — long before COVID-19 came around. Once the coronavirus shut down schools in March, Ali says she saw a spike in business.

"With the shutdown, schools of course, were unable to keep up and kind of keep up the same level of instruction that they would normally keep up when they would be in person. So there was definitely some level of learning loss, so a lot of families recognized that and they had concerns," she added.

Now, with eight instructors, there are currently about 100 students enrolled in their teaching program. Each child gets an initial assessment to pinpoint their needs and then instructors design a customized learning plan using proprietary materials and instruction techniques. Ali says it starts with a strong foundation.

"Whenever a student comes into my center, I look at their foundation first of where they should be at by this point in time and then we go back and try to fill the gaps if they're behind," she said.

They also follow the common core standards.

"We are definitely helping students for the standardized testing because we're working on the same skills that they're expected to know for those tests," she said.

Students can get instruction in person, online or both. For those coming to the center, Ali says they are following social distancing protocols, requiring masks, and conducting temperature checks when students arrive. And while her business continues to grow, Ali says the real satisfaction comes in knowing they're helping students succeed.

"I love teaching," she said. "I love teaching children. I explored different learning centers and when I discovered Mathnasium, it was in line with my belief of how to teach math."

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