Our Children at the Crossroads: Path2Math

By Jim Wambach | June 5th,2018

Perspectives article by Jim Wambach, Executive Director

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

– Nelson Mandela, South African political leader

Dear Children Rising Community,

Thank you for all the help, love, understanding, and academic support that you have provided during this academic year! Because of your extraordinary efforts, almost 1,000 children have more hope for a promising future and a better opportunity to realize their God-given potential.

Math Tutor Jeni Williams and her students

From listening to schools and the community, it has become more evident to us that there is a widespread AND extremely urgent need to help children develop math “literacy” in the second grade and math “fluency” in the fifth grade. In 2017, 2,500 second-graders and 2,900 fifth-graders in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) tested below California standards. Right now, hundreds of second-grade children are 2 or more grade levels behind in their math skills!

Unless these children are able to gain a strong foundation of math skills and math awareness, they will struggle mightily in grades 3 and beyond. They will fall further and further behind as they are asked to incorporate new math skills and critical reasoning abilities. Many will rapidly lose self-confidence and self-esteem and become increasingly at risk of choosing the wrong path – and eventually dropping out of school.

There currently are no other providers of free, in-school math tutoring available to OUSD students. This school year, in response to that need, we decided to deepen and expand our existing math tutoring opportunities into a pilot math-tutoring program at two schools this year. This new program, Path2Math, will be more comprehensive and replicate the best practices of our Succeeding by Reading Program. Path2Math will eventually be available to all 19 schools currently served by our Succeeding by Reading program.

End-of-year celebration at the Laurel Math clinic

As in our Succeeding by Reading program, Path2Math tutors will be specifically trained and coached, and provided the tools necessary to successfully help a child learn to understand AND love math. Please consider becoming a Path2Math volunteer math tutor – it will be great fun and you will make a profound difference in a child’s life if you do!

For the children,

Jim

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