Written by Tim Talley
Robyn Cashmore, left, an education graduate student, assists middle school student Edalesia Perez. Amanda Ericson '11 looks on.
Willimantic, Conn. - From July 6 to Aug. 18, approximately 20 Windham Middle School students participated in Math Mania, a summer math tutoring program hosted by Eastern Connecticut State University. Students participating in Willimantic's Weed and Seed Drug Free Zone Camp came to Eastern twice a week to practice math skills in a fun and interactive tutoring and mentoring program with Eastern students.
Eastern's Center for Community Engagement coordinated the program. Former Eastern Community Service Coordinator Beth Zambrano served as curriculum specialist for the program, and Eastern alumnus Luke Boyd served as the program coordinator, with nine Eastern students working as tutors. Each week's program included a math lesson followed by one-on-one tutoring.
The end of the week provided students with opportunities to apply what they learned through recreational activities that reinforced what they learned earlier in the week. Nanette Tummers, associate professor of health and physical education, and Marsha Davis, professor of math and computer science, provided expertise to the program, and offered engaging activities, including health and wellness calculations and use of motion detection instruments.
Math Mania gave students the chance to forge ahead in developing their mathematics skills by providing them with activities that demonstrated how math can be used in everyday life. The students also built positive relationships with their college student mentors and learned the value of the college experience.
The Center for Community Engagement and the Windham Drug Free Zone program are collaborating to expand the math tutoring program after school. Parents interested in having their students participate in these programs should contact Ray Ortiz, Windham Drug Free Communities coordinator, at (860) 455-3585.