Center for Community Engagement

Stanislaus: M is for Math Literacy

Stanislaus

CSU Stanislaus students are helping elementary school children and their parents become math literate in their local shopping mall. By offering math homework help and enticing elementary students and their parents to play math board games and puzzles twice a week in the afternoons, Dr. Viji Sundar and her undergraduate students who are Math/Liberal Studies majors have been increasing math literacy in their community. Math literacy is a critical skill for solving daily situations and what better place to bring that to life than in a shopping mall, full of mathematical transactions.

Math in the Mall is just one of several programs Dr. Sundar and her students are conducting to empower parents and their children to achieve math literacy through the "M for Math Literacy" initiative. The first project within this initiative, Family Math, has been operating since 2010 at three regional elementary schools. Family Math focuses entirely on families learning mathematics together using materials found in the home. Parents learn from CSU Stanislaus students how math affects a child's future opportunities and how to help their children with homework; design home learning environments; and communicate effectively with teachers. At the same time, the elementary school students participate in math camps over spring break to get concentrated math instruction. In April 2012, 120 students from Orville Wright Elementary in Modesto and 90 students from Crowell Elementary in Turlock participated in math boot camps.

It was in 2012, that Dr. Sundar and her students brought parents and their children together in the "M for Math Literacy" initiative by successfully launching Math in the Mall and Dr. Sundar has plans to expand this model to other retail shops. "What better setting than in a retail store environment where math literacy will prove to be relevant, and lessons can be immediately applied and replicated in similar environments thus reinforcing learned techniques," explains Dr. Sundar.

Not only do the various projects in the "M for Math Literacy" initiative have an impact on elementary school children and their parents, but they also provide opportunities for CSU Stanislaus students to apply teaching and mathematical skills learned in the college classroom to real-life situations and prepare them for their future teaching careers. That's a formula for success that really adds up!

Read more about service learning and community engagement at CSU Stanislaus.

View campus service-learning projects
involving early interest in engineering and math:
CSU Fullerton
CSU Fullerton

CSU Fullerton's project Mathematics Intensive Summer Session (MISS), now in its 23rd summer, is a voluntary four-week summer program, designed to help underrepresented high school girls succeed in college preparatory mathematics at the Algebra II level and above.

CSU Northridge
CSU Northridge

The Accelerated Coursework in Computer Science and Engineering for Student Success (ACCESS) program provides high school students with the opportunity to interact with both CSU Northridge faculty and current CSU Northridge engineering and computer science students who serve as mentors.

Cal Poly Pomona
Cal Poly Pomona

Following Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic, Robotics is gaining steam as the fourth "R" in education. Dr. Jawa Mariappan's School Robotics class offers engineering students and faculty the opportunity to visit local K-12 schools to train schoolteachers and mentor students in robotics through a variety of weekly hands-on activities.

San José State University
San José State University

At San José State, mentoring and service are at the core of student success. Engineering students enrolled in Community Action and Service, an engineering service-learning course led by Dr. Stacy Gleixner, volunteer at one of six local high schools through Project Lead the Way.

CSU Stanislaus
CSU Stanislaus

CSU Stanislaus students are helping elementary school children and their parents become math literate in their local shopping mall. By offering math homework help and enticing elementary students and their parents to play math board games and puzzles twice a week in the afternoons, Dr. Viji Sundar and her undergraduate students who are Math/Liberal Studies majors have been increasing math literacy in their community.