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Success and Fun with Advancing Student Achievement Math Grants

Supporting math enhancement programs that bridge the gap between classroom and real-world mathematics, Advancing Student Achievement

math grants are designed to get students excited about math and build their confidence. Be sure to visit this page often for more updates on the teachers and students who have benefitted from your generosity.


Golden Oak Montessori School, Hayward, California

Golden Oak Montessori of Hayward is a public charter elementary and middle school located in the East Bay Area in California. The program at Golden Oak Montessori includes a ‘GO Math’ Intensive Fall Camp, designed specifically for students in first through fourth grades struggling with math. Teachers chose to focus the camp on the “Math in the Garden” curriculum, which was developed with the National Science Foundation, in collaboration with UC Berkeley and the Hayward Unified School District. By applying math using the hands-on and physical learning approaches of the “Math in the Garden” curriculum, students were given the opportunity to change their outlook and their approach to doing math. They planted an organic garden on school grounds and used that garden to learn and practice math concepts like place value, addition, subtraction, division and fractions. Teachers, parents and students had high praise for the program. One student was especially immersed in math saying, “I was adding numbers in my dreams.” Click here for a slide show of the Garden Math Week at Golden Oak.


Harlem Academy, New York, New York

Harlem Academy serves 114 students in first through eighth grades  and is an accredited independent school that introduces its students to a rigorous academic environment which challenges them to realize their full potential. The Harlem Academy Math Enrichment Program serves grades 4-8 with math contests, math labs and a financial planning course using the Foundation’s Building Your Future financial literacy curriculum resource. The goal of the program is to ensure that students excel while sparking their interest in math-related careers.

Lowell Elementary School, Wheaton, Illinois

Lowell Elementary School in Wheaton, Illinois, is using their ASA grant to build math confidence by mastering math facts. Fifth grade students partner with each other and practice reciting math facts in different time increments using stopwatches and flash cards. As teacher Maryanne Minser puts it, “The goal is not only to have students master math facts and improve math achievement, but to learn the importance of working together.”

Pacific Beach High School, San Luis Obispo, California

Pacific Beach High School in San Luis Obispo is using an ASA grant in a program that is literally “Putting Math on Wheels”. The Skateboard Building Program is designed and led by Chris de Firmian. Students learn math while gluing, laminating, designing, cutting, shaping and drilling their own skateboards. The completed skateboards (pictured right) show the genuine uniqueness of each student. Click here to read teacher Chris de Firmian's story about the Skateboard Building Program.

UIC College Preparatory High School, Chicago, Illinois

UIC College Prep, a charter high school in Chicago, is using its ASA grant to allow students from all levels to train for and attend high-level math competitions throughout the state of Illinois. The program is the most well attended extra-curricular activity at the school. In 2014, UIC ranked in the top 10 in the state of Illinois in two events and in 17th place overall, up from 23rd place in 2013. As teacher and coach Matt Karlan puts it, “That’s a feat that would not have been possible without The Actuarial Foundation’s help, so thank you again. The kids really appreciate the support!”