Praneel Samal, 9, holds up his Math Level J Completion Award from Kumon Reading and Learning Center of Stevenson Ranch. Courtesy of Kumon
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Usually, a student at a Kumon Math and Reading Center completes the organization’s math program in several years when they are well into junior high school or high school.

“For kids who finish the program they usually start early elementary and they don’t finish until junior high or high school,” said Kareena Gingco, center director of Kumon Math and Reading Center of Stevenson Ranch.

However, Praneel Samal of Stevenson Ranch completed the high-level math program, which includes concepts like differential calculus and indefinite/definite integrals, in 10 months at the age of 9.

“The program is one of the largest after school math and reading programs and the fact that he finished this young is very extraordinary even on a national standard,” Gingco said.  “It’s pretty amazing.”

To earn this top honor, Samal completed thousands of worksheets covering preschool to advanced high school math concepts.

“All our students here come twice a week where they’re assigned homework and that’s where they get their guidance, but for the other five days he does it by himself,” Gingco said.  “He didn’t intend on completing the program so fast, it just kind of happened.  He’s very self-motivated.”

In order to complete the program in 10 months, Samal finished 20 doubled-sided worksheets each day, four times the average for students of the program.  He even completed the worksheets during summer, holidays and his birthday.

“When I started Kumon, I imagined myself finishing the program when I was 11 or 12,” Samal said in a press release. “Kumon Math has helped me with a lot of new Math concepts that I haven’t learned in school yet.”

Samal said he also learned to manage his Kumon homework with his school homework, in addition to participating in Boy Scouts of America, his school chess club and karate classes after school.

His academic success in all subjects also allowed him to skip a grade level and advance to fourth grade this year.  He also placed science in his school science fair and tied for first in his school’s Math Olympiad.

He also placed his first placement in our reading program was eighth grade concepts so he’s on his way to finish that as well.

Now at Kumon, Samal is working to complete the center’s reading program.

“He’s now doing our reading program,” Gingco said.  “In his first placement in our reading program he was at eighth grade concepts, so he’s on his way to finishing that as well.”
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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Christina Cox
Christina Cox is a multimedia journalist covering education, community and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in August 2016.
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