Another aspect of the tutoring program is the special “Math Matters” program. The Math Matters program grew out of tutors seeing sixth grade students who did not know their basic math facts. We received funding for two years from the Rochester Women’s Giving Circle to get the program up and running. The current year is being funded by with the help of a grant from the Farash Foundation. Because of a gender gap in math learning that begins around the Third Grade, the program is open to girls in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. Once a girl has been selected for the program she is in it for three years, unless her math ability improves to the point where she scores a “3” on the NYS math test.
Girls are worked with either one-on-one or two-on-one with tutors twice a week for thirty minutes at a time. They drill math facts and work their way through a “grade level” workbook. They play math based games, and learn how to decipher word problems.
What the girls get out of the program is related to what they put in. Just like getting your body into shape, getting your brain into shape requires hard work and practice.
Unlike the regular one-on-one tutoring Math Matters content is created by us with teacher input. The girls get much needed help with their math and gain confidence in their abilities.
How can parents help. Over longer school breaks we will give the girls “homework” these simple packets are designed to keep the girls minds sharp. In years past precipitous drops in academic ability have been noted over breaks. If you don’t use your muscles you loose your muscles.