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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Last week’s surprise announcement by all public school districts in Madison County that they’d be going fully virtual for the beginning of the school year has become a boon for the local tutoring industry. 

“Just in the last week I`ve had at least 25 families reach out to me,” said Anita Kantameni, owner of Kumon Math and Reading Center of Huntsvillle.

Kantameni’s center has a total enrollment of 90 kids right now. 

Kantameni added that parents had, “Got a taste of it in the spring when the schools did virtual learning and that`s when they realized their kids may not get the fullest from the school system and that`s why they`re looking for here.”

It has been a similar story across town at Madison’s Kumon where they’ve also seen a boost in tutoring requests. 15 families have called in one week, with most saying they want to send their kids to a place where they can interact with a teacher in person.

At the Huntsville Kumon, parent Martin Burkey, said he is supportive of his district’s decision to go all-virtual, but agreed, in-person tutoring is helpful. Burkey has brings his 12-year-old son to Kumon for extra support.

“I`m concerned about it I think it`s the right move for a while we are right now with the virus situation at the same time there`s no substitute for a student interacting face-to-face with a real teacher who is interacting back with them.”

Megan Baker also brings her son Rhett to the center for similar reasons. 

“We just want to make sure he has everything he needs he`s right where he needs to be and we`re not going to get behind this next year,” Baker said.

Kumon has been taking every precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic, including taking temperatures, requiring mask, providing plenty of hand sanitizer, and adding desk partitions. But parents who still have concerns about in-person learning can also get tutoring virtually.

While area Kumon centers are seeing a boost in students, they are making it clear that there’s still plenty of room for more students. Huntsville is also home to plenty of other in-person and virtual learning tutoring centers.