February 26, 2021 | NVC PR | Leave a comment For elementary grade-school students, one of the major barriers to future success is not having a solid math foundation. As kids progress in grades, their opportunities to lucrative STEM-related careers diminish if they don’t know basic math facts. For the last three years, Northwest Vista College’s Community Math team has been tutoring parents at West Side community centers so parents can help their kids at home with math. The NVC Community Math team is seeing positive results. Parents who have participated in the tutoring program for eight weeks have increased their math skills equivalent to multiple grade levels (from whole number arithmetic through operations with fractions.) This tutoring has proven even more critical with students now doing virtual school due to COVID-19. Now, the NVC Community Math team wants to expand their program to parents of the Southwest Independent School District. The team is looking for about 20 parents of students in kinder through the fifth grade for virtual tutoring. SWISD serves a little over 13,000 students and has about a 93% graduation rate. “This is the first time we are working with a school district. There’s no other program like this in Alamo Colleges. The neat thing about this is that we are going directly to parents and trying to help the community,” said Dr. Heidi Hunt, who is a principal investigator on the grant. The parents will be teamed with NVC students or UTSA students who are majoring in elementary education for the tutoring. She said the virtual tutoring does have some benefits in which parents don’t have to worry about driving to a tutoring location. Also at the end of each hour-long tutoring session, parents have the opportunity to include their children in the session and ask any questions that arise when doing math homework. In 2018, NVC received a multi-million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education to 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. To learn more about the grant, go here. The program originated at the Time Dollar community center on the West Side, and with the grant, they now have been able to pay a lead parent educator to train other parent advocates to become paid parent educators also. They are looking to implement the program at nearby community centers. SWISD parents who want to participate in the program should contact Wes Anderson at email@example.com. Space is limited but enrollment is ongoing.