Blog

Path to Grade Level Math: A Struggling Child Blossoms

By Eric Steckel
April 18th,2019

Grade Level Math Skills Are Crucial For Struggling Students

Your one-on-one relationship is helping Brooklyn reach grade level math skills.

You are helping Brooklyn reach grade level math skills-and her God-given potential-this year and throughout her academic career.

When Brooklyn saw Mr. Paul waiting in the hall outside her second-grade classroom, she broke out in a grin. Despite being eager for that morning’s field trip, she was delighted that her Path2Math tutor was here for his weekly visit. It was a big change from a few months ago.

“In the beginning, Brooklyn’s natural reserved attitude was very apparent,” Mr. Paul Rathkamp explained. “Until trust was developed, there was a little bit of standoffishness from her, wondering, ‘Is he gonna be here next week? What’s this really all about?’ ”

That reaction is typical. After all, Mr. Paul looks quite different from most of the teachers and staff at the school. “I remember my first day walking into the school,” Paul said with a laugh. “I stuck out a little bit. I’m tall and I’m an older guy.”

Developing Math Literacy and Math Fluency

Brooklyn and Paul worked together on her math literacy and math fluency in order to help Brooklyn get back to grade level math skills. They started by identifying the different coins and building familiarity with their value. “Surprisingly, a lot of the kids really haven’t been exposed to money before.” Paul explained. Then they used the coins as a manipulative math tool, which is a more interactive – and interesting – way for children to learn how to add and subtract. With a little foundation, they translated the understanding of coins to working math problems, like how a dime minus a nickel equals a nickel.

“Suddenly you see something catch and they get it, and the pride and the happiness that comes over their face is just extraordinary.” Paul Rathkamp, Path2Math Tutor

One-on-one relationships are the foundation of Faith Network’s intervention math program. Ms. Manning, Brooklyn’s teacher, has noticed a difference. “Brooklyn’s focus has increased. She is trying harder and her confidence is getting better.”

Paul has witnessed a change as well. “As we began working together and getting to know each other – building trust – Brooklyn has opened up.” He continued. “When students realize that you’re here to help them, and that you’re on their side, it helps accelerate the learning process.”

Paul and Brooklyn

Struggling students like Brooklyn look up to you. One-on-one tutoring is the best way to help them reach grade level math skills.

“Suddenly you see something catch and they get it, and the pride and the happiness that comes over their face is just extraordinary,” Paul says. “All the benefits that a child gets from that, not just learning math, but the self-esteem and the confidence, they bring back into their classroom and, hopefully, feel more confident that they know what they’re doing and not so shy.”

“Brooklyn’s progress in math is giving her confidence in other subjects too. In reading, she is actually reading more when asked,” Ms. Manning explains. “She doesn’t ‘pass’ as she so often has done before her reading support from Faith Network tutors. I am so appreciative of Faith Network’s contributions to our students.”

YES, I CAN help transform a child’s life. Let’s talk!

 I want to be a tutor or mentor this school year. Tell me more!

 I want help fund Faith Network tutoring and mentoring programs.

Children Rising: Providing Hope, the Dare To Dream, and Opportunity To Thrive

By Jim Wambach
April 10th,2019

Perspectives article by Jim Wambach, Executive Director

Our Community Must Nurture and Equip Vulnerable Children to Rise Above

“Let us remember: one child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world“ Malala Yousafzai

Now, more than ever, the full support of our community is required to help nurture and equip vulnerable children to rise above the generational effect of poverty, violence and educational inequity.

Mother Teresa observed: “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” We know children living in poverty grow up with lower aspirations, shorter life expectancy and higher incarceration rates.

But poverty is not the only challenge many families in our communities face. The rate of violence in the neighborhoods served by Faith Network is higher than in communities just a few miles away. We know young children who come to school bearing the weight of exposure to violence may have a difficult time opening their hearts and minds to learning.

We also know the children and youth we serve are faced with an unequal distribution of academic resources, including but not limited to: insufficient school funding, untenable student-to-teacher ratios, and high teacher turnover.

Treating all students equally does not help those children that need more support. It actually promotes more educational inequity.

For all of these reasons, treating all students equally does not help those children that need more support. It actually promotes more educational inequity. Last fall, greatly concerned by the scope of the educational inequity in our local neighborhoods, we made a decision to substantially expand our services so we can enable larger numbers of the community to support many more children in the coming years.

Please help us ensure every struggling child is reached by a caring community at a critical time in their life to provide hope, the dare to dream, and opportunity to thrive. Together we will make it possible for the most vulnerable children in our community to truly rise above the many challenges they face, and enjoy more opportunity to realize their God-given potential.

For the children,

Jim

YES, I CAN help a vulnerable child rise above! Let’s talk!


 I want to be a tutor or mentor this school year. Tell me more!

 I want help fund Faith Network tutoring and mentoring programs.

  • I want to volunteer, BUT I don't know where to start.