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.
Priority areas for this initiative include:
- Partnering with local, statewide and national networks to build awareness about the importance of early math.
- Building the infrastructure––including research, practice, and communications––necessary to promote families’ engagement in their children’s math learning.
- Supporting the development of high-quality and culturally-informed family math resources, and partnering with organizations that serve families to ensure their dissemination and use.
- Partnering with local organizations to integrate family math opportunities into their work with communities, especially in California.