Math Motivators Program Spotlight: Chicago
August 26, 2019
“Please thank the tutors for me. I so appreciate your program. For two years, the tutors your program have provided for my students have formed strong relationships, improved the effectiveness of my office hours and, most importantly, increased student learning!”
“Thank you for all of the support this school year. Math Motivators is an awesome program. Scholars who worked with tutors always showed all work on fluency and consistently scored a 5/5. This helped build their confidence and knowledge of the skills. As a result, participation in discussion increased.”
“You all have been monumentally helpful. Every teacher, student, and admin member raved about the support. I am so excited to continue our partnership next year … Thanks again for all of your help. We appreciate your ability to act fast and get these kids the help that they needed.”
These are just a few examples of comments from Chicago teachers and administrators about The Actuarial Foundation’s Math Motivators tutoring program. As the second city to adopt the program, Chicago has seen great success in building high school and middle school students’ abilities and confidence through the program. In fact, the city has seen such great results that Math Motivators is expanding outside of schools to tutoring centers, where even more students will be able to get the help they need with math.
A volunteer-driven program, Math Motivators is free to students who otherwise wouldn’t have access to or couldn’t afford tutoring. Established in Hartford, Connecticut, the program began in Chicago during the 2017–2018 school year in one high school, but has since expanded to three high schools and has been piloted in one middle school. So far, two high schools have reported improvement in PSAT math test scores for students working with the Math Motivators tutors. On average for those students, scores increased by about 32 points.
In March 2019, Communities in Schools (CIS) approved the Math Motivators program as one of their Community Partners in Chicago. So far, CIS has helped connect Math Motivators to two middle schools, including the school that piloted the program. The middle school has requested that Math Motivators continues for the 2019–2020 school year, and the other is in process of confirming a relationship for the same year.
Also in the 2019–2020 school year, Math Motivators will begin providing support to two Chicago organizations—Project Vision and Horizons for Youth—which have tutoring centers where students from surrounding neighborhoods can register to attend after school or on Saturday mornings for help with their homework.
During the most recent school year, the program reached approximately 50 students through the work of around 35 tutors, who volunteered more than 200 hours of their time. Volunteers come from eight different companies in Chicago, as well as a few college student volunteers.