HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Representatives from the Kentucky Center for Mathematics and Northern Kentucky University had to contain their enthusiasm last week as they celebrated the acceptance of a $20,000 check from AT&T. With Boone County High School students nearby focusing on state testing, the setting was quiet but appropriate.
The AT&T gift will help the Kentucky Center for Mathematics create afterschool math clubs in five regional locations throughout Kentucky. These clubs will help struggling math students better grasp algebra and improve their overall understanding of learning, which will help improve their performance in other mathematics courses and on standardized tests, enhancing their college and career readiness.
“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this generous gift from AT&T, which will allow the KCM to deliver an innovative, supplemental learning experience benefitting Kentucky algebra 1 students,” said Alice Gabbard, KCM senior director, at the Dec. 10 ceremony.
KCM will select five schools this summer to receive funding. Each school will select 30 students to participate in the afterschool program, and students will work individually and in groups using online resources to master algebraic concepts and reinforce their in-class lessons.
They will also learn strategies for becoming more effective learners and discover career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Supplemental tools such as algebra tiles, shape blocks and linking cubes will help students understand abstract concepts.
“As we focus more on STEM initiatives, technology will be a major part of the process moving forward,” said David McFaddin, AT&T’s regional director for legislative and external affairs, who presented the check. “We are always looking for new and creative ways to help our students have the most successful future.”
Algebra is the major stumbling block for advanced mathematical learning. If students do not master algebra, they are likely to struggle with geometry and cannot advance to algebra II, trigonometry or calculus. Algebra also ties into their science classes and is tested on state proficiency and college placement tests.
By addressing students’ needs early, high schools increase students’ chances of success throughout high school, in college and later in life.
“The Kentucky Center for Mathematics’ program will have a significant impact on the economic health of the state,” McFaddin said. “When businesses relocate, they look at the state’s math and science scores. By improving our students’ math proficiency, it makes our workforce more marketable and Kentucky more attractive to new and existing companies. At AT&T, we consider this $20,000 gift an investment not only in our future leaders and in our neighbors’ children, but also in the vitality of the Kentucky economy.”
State Sen. John Schickel (R-Union) was present for the check presentation. As an NKU graduate and representative for northern Kentucky, Schickel thanked AT&T for “stepping up to the plate” to help the students in the region improve their fundamental math skills. “Math is an important part of education,” he said. “If you do not have a firm foundation in math, you do not have a firm foundation in life.”
State Sen. Katie Kratz Stine (R-Fort Thomas) advocated for House Bill 93, which established KCM. Though she could not attend the check presentation, she said was pleased to learn about AT&T’s gift to extend KCM’s reach throughout the state.
“The General Assembly created the Kentucky Center for Mathematics in 2005 because we recognized that math was a gateway skill for all Kentucky students,” Stine said. “Without these basic skills, our students would have fewer opportunities than their counterparts in states throughout the nation. Since its inception, KCM has trained teachers to help struggling students and provided them the resources to help students increase their math proficiency.”
### NKU ###
Follow NKU news on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NKU_News.