After-School Math Program Expands with Support From Toyota USA

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CONTACT: Michelle Galley
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After-School Math Program Expands With Support From Toyota USA Foundation

Washington, D.C., September 1, 2006—The Academy for Educational Development and the Toyota USA Foundation recently announced a new partnership that will allow children in four cities across the country the opportunity to learn math skills in a new and exciting way.

“This program helps the youth leaders and the younger students to see that math is fun, it everyday event, and it is all around them,” said Merle Froschl, co-director of the Educational Equity Center at AED, which will implement the program. “At its core, this is a standards-based program to build math skills, but it has many pluses built in, which is why it is called Afterschool Math Plus.”

Yukitoshi Funo, president, Toyota USA Foundation, said that the Toyota USA Foundation is especially impressed with how ASM+ activities strengthen after-school programs by complementing, not duplicating, classroom experiences.

ASM+ brings together after-school centers in underserved neighborhoods with local science and technology museums. At the museums, students in third through eighth grade from the centers work with youth leaders from their communities.

They hone their math skills by building exhibits and creating presentations. For example, one group of students worked on an exhibit about music by constructing instruments and writing a piece of music using fractional notes, learning fractions in the process.

Students also create an exhibit in collaboration with the museum personnel and the youth leaders, then families and community members are invited to a presentation showcases the students’ accomplishments.

“It is very empowering to the children and their families, said Barbara Sprung, co-director of the Educational Equity Center at AED. She added that combination of strong role models, standards-based math exercises, and additional activities, such as writing and researching, that stress literacy, combine to provide powerful experiences for underrepresented students.

Founded in 1961, the Academy for Educational Development (www.aed.org) is a nonprofit organization committed to building the capacity of individuals, communities, and institutions to become more self-sufficient. AED works in all the major areas of human development, with a focus on improving education, health, and economic opportunities for the least advantaged in the United States and developing countries throughout the world.