By Amy Schechter

You’ve probably met someone who has had trouble helping a child with his/her math homework. Maybe you have had your own problems understanding algebra growing up. Math has earned a reputation as difficult and anxiety-inducing, and there are those that think that they just weren’t cut out to calculate.

Ferdinand Desir II, owner and operator of Mathnasium of Riverview, knew he had to change peoples’ perception. A veteran of the armed forces, he earned his teaching certificate through the Troops to Teachers program and saw firsthand the struggles students met in math: “During my time teaching, all of the problems that I had with my kids were math related…Being in the military we tried our hardest to finish the mission. It felt to me that I was on an endless mission with no end in sight.” Desir stopped teaching to research methods and curriculum that would put kids on a path to success in math and became hooked on the Mathnasium method.

Mathnasium’s curriculum is based on helping the student understand math at each grade level through a specifically tailored learning plan individual to each child. It begins with a customized assessment to determine what needs a child has and includes a customized learning plan delivered by caring, trained instructors. Desir sees the success on a daily basis: “It makes sense to the kids at their level…It’s a big confidence building plan. We build relationships with the parents and the kids. They feel comfortable talking with us and learning with us. How many kids do you know that actually want to go to math tutoring?”

Mathnasium serves students in grades 2-12 and K-1st on a case-by-case basis. Desir recommends bringing students three to four times a week for fastest gains. With flexible hours, 2-7 p.m. on Mondays, 3-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, and 2-6 p.m. on Saturdays, students and families have many after-school options. Desir will even stay a little late if a parent struggles to pick a student up by 7 p.m. saying, “We love teaching math. We have a passion for teaching math to kids.”

Desir offers a quarterly scholarship program worth $1000 in tuition where the recipient can come in and the family will not have to pay. Eligibility is determined based on parents’ financial situation.

To set up an assessment, call 446-3895 or toll-free 844-667-MATH (6284). Visit Mathnasium of Riverview is located at 11446 S US Hwy. 301 in the Publix plaza.

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