Evidence suggests that kindergarten-level math skills are the strongest correlate of later grade academic achievement––regardless of race, gender, or family socioeconomic status. Research also indicates that racial and socioeconomic factors relate to students’ math achievement scores, and that some of these demographically-linked differences appear even before children enter kindergarten.
The long-term goal of the Family and Community Math initiative is to foster positive math attitudes, confidence, and learning for children of color, emerging bilinguals, and children from low-income homes by supporting families as powerful partners in their children’s early math learning.
Efforts to leverage and build on the math families already stem from an understanding that family engagement in children’s learning is predictive of school achievement and life success. In addition, families are particularly influential before children enter school, when children do most of their learning outside formal settings. In this context, families can play a critical role in equipping their children with positive experiences and attitudes around math.
The initiative focuses on children, birth to age 8, mainly in California.