Tutors Help Students with Test-Taking, Reading Skills

Article excerpt

Byline: David Sharos Daily Herald Correspondent

An occasional series on businesses in Lisle, Naperville and Aurora

Reading and test-taking skills remain some of the most important benchmarks regarding student achievement, college admission and being successful in the work force.

In Naperville, Leonard and Sarah Punt have been putting their tutoring expertise to work for decades at the Reading Tree, which serves a variety of students and ability groups.

With summer approaching, Leonard Punt recently spoke with the Daily Herald about how his business can help children looking to gain some real-life advantages before school reopens in the fall.

Q. How did you get started?

A. We actually opened the school in a 2 1/2-car garage. We've grown to two locations and are now celebrating our 30th year.

In terms of my background, I was a school teacher in the Chicago schools for 11 years and wound up getting my master's degree in reading at Loyola. That turned out to be my real interest.

Q. What about your wife and partner?

A. Sarah has a business degree and helps in running things.

Q. What about your work force? Is it mostly teachers?

A. We have 31 part-time people, and we try to match kids with the best instructor. Some have more of an elementary background and work with younger students, while others may work with college-age kids. We cover kindergarten through the college years.

About two-thirds of the staff is made up of teachers - the rest are experts in their field. We have people from some of the local labs around here who are chemistry or physics majors, for instance, and they help students in those subject areas. …