February 28, 2020 | NVC PR | Leave a comment Northwest Vista College’s Community Math project is moving full steam ahead! Since the program began in 2018 thanks to a $3.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, NVC recently added another community center on San Antonio’s West Side to ultimately improve the math rates of elementary students. The purpose of Community Math is two fold – help parents with their math skills so they can help their school-aged children; and strengthen the math skills of college students at NVC and UTSA who want to be future teachers. In just two short years, groups of parents have increased their math proficiency and are more confident tutoring their kids at home. But NVC knew it needed community help and designed the grant with that in mind. Ignacia Cruz has been their biggest community advocate for the program. She, herself, was one of 10 moms in 2010 that went into a similar program that NVC did but couldn’t sustain financially. Now Ignacia is the lead parent educator for the Community Math program where she teaches math to her peers, advocates for parents in her community, and is now helping to replicate the math program at the Madonna Center, which has been in the community for 81 years. Ignacia continues to work part-time under the grant at Time Dollar community center on the West Side, under the guidance of NVC math professors, Dr. Heidi Hunt and Anna Harwin. Anna’s goal is to remove math barriers to education so children can succeed in San Antonio. Studies show that only 29 percent of Hispanic college graduates are meeting college-level readiness for math. The absence of a solid mathematics foundation results in lost educational and career opportunities in STEM and other math-intensive career fields. Heidi, who is the co-principal investigator for the grant, said in a short time they have learned and accomplished a great deal: Assessments revealed that 75% of preservice teachers could not do the arithmetic they would one day teach. The program has been working towards enhancing the pre-service teachers entire math curriculum sequence with growth mindset principles and arithmetic. To date, they’ve seen a 40% increase in pre-service teachers’ arithmetic ability. Now that the Madonna Center has been added, pre-service teachers from UTSA, the sub-awardee on this grant, are working with parents to provide eight weeks of math education. Pre-service teachers receive stipends from the Community Math grant as part of the program. As the partnership continues to develop with the new center, kids can look forward to a summer math enrichment camp. By the end of the grant, the goal is to be in up to six community centers. To learn about NVC’s Community Math Project, go here.