Middle and high school students who need assistance with math can receive help from Indiana University East’s Center for Service-Learning. The center offers Math Counts!, a tutoring program that pairs college students one-on-one with younger students to provide math tutoring free of charge.
Now in its second year, Math Counts! recently received a $10,000 grant from the Stamm Koechlein Family Foundation. The grant will support the program’s outreach efforts to area schools.
Monica Koechlein of the Stamm Koechlein Family Foundation said the program fulfilled a needed service to the community.
“The Board of Directors of the Foundation understood the demand for tutoring services and was pleased to partner to support this amazing program,” Koechlein said. “We felt that this grant fit perfectly with our mission of building, strengthening, and sustaining community life by bringing opportunity to youth. Math Counts! has a double impact, not just on the students receiving the tutoring, but also the IU East students providing the services.”
Paula Kay King, director of Gift Development at IU East, said, “IU East math tutors have become mentors to the youth in our community and surrounding counties through the Math Counts! program. Many students and parents who have reached out to IU East for tutoring assistance are grateful for this program, provided in part by the Stamm Koechlein Family Foundation. We at IU East are thrilled to offer this opportunity for our students and to the community.”
Ann Tobin, Service Learning Campus-Community Liaison, said funding from the Stamm Koechlein Family Foundation will ensure the tutoring program will continue through summer 2017. In addition to the grant, Math Counts! receives snacks for students contributed by DOT Foods.
“We are very thankful for the Stamm Koechlein grant for the Math Counts! Tutoring Program, as it has allowed for us to answer the calls for assistance from many area schools and from many local parents,” Tobin said.
Math Counts! was established after the Service-Learning center began a tutoring program at IU East in summer 2015, in conjunction with an Honors Senior Thesis project by student Katelyn Brown. Many community members contacted the Center for Service-Learning looking for student tutors in math, reading, science, Spanish and other areas. The Center for Service-Learning organized the summer tutoring program. In its first summer offered, the math tutoring program reached 38 middle and high school students over a course of 245 sessions held over nine weeks. The program has grown by adding more tutors – there are 32 during the fall and spring semesters – and they are providing more service hours for students.
The successful program continued to receive requests for math assistance from parents, school principals and CIS coordinators. In February 2016, the program was named Math Counts! The program is offered in the IU East Campus Library and is also currently implemented at area schools including: Northeastern Elementary and Middle Schools, Hagerstown Elementary School, Richmond High School, Hibberd Early College Academy, Vaile Elementary School, Seton Intermediate School, and schools in Eaton and Greenville, Ohio.
Trevor Boram, a senior majoring in mathematics and biochemistry, is one of the tutors for Math Counts! He encourages other students at IU East to become involved with the program, pointing out that Math Counts! has given him the opportunity to apply the skills he has learned in his degree programs to helping high school students to better understand the material presented in their courses.
“As a Math Counts! tutor, I have been able to impact students by giving them alternate ways to understand a topic, and as a result, these students consistently improve in test scores and course grades,” Boram said. “One of the first students that I tutored in this program had previously failed his pre-calculus course, but after consistently tutoring him the following summer and fall, he ended up earning a B+ in the course, and was admitted to IUPUI later the next year. To me, helping this student reach his goals and improve was a very fulfilling experience, and in a way, tutoring is my way of giving back to the community and illustrating the positive reputation that IU East and its students command in the region.”
IU East math tutors receive training from Denice Honaker, assistant professor of education and the coordinator for Early Childhood Education; and Josh Beal, assistant professor of mathematics, is a liaison to area schools. Many of the IU East students who tutor are successful students enrolled in degree programs for fields in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“The Math Counts! program has provided free, year-round, individualized math tutoring at the IU East campus, by enabling us to pay the highly-skilled students needed for tutoring all levels of math. Our tutors have assisted high school students to not only improve their math grades, but to also complete their classes in order to graduate and go on to college,” Tobin said. “In addition, due to mentoring by the tutors, many parents have reported that their students gained a more positive attitude about learning and school, as well as improved self-esteem, study skills, and interest in learning new things.”
For information on Math Counts! or tutoring programs at IU East, contact the Office of Service-Learning at 765-973-8411 or visit http://www.iue.edu/servicelearning/.