It’s a simple equation: Parents + Kids + Teachers + Food = Math Success.
At least that’s been the experience for the Jackson County School System. With five Family Math Nights held since the fall and three more set before the end of the school year, Dr. Katie Warwick, JCSS math curriculum coordinator, said she feels good about the new program.
“Nearly 200 parents, grandparents, children, teachers, and administrators registered for the February session, and Chick-fil-A Braselton fed them all,” said Dr. Katie Warwick, the JCSS math curriculum coordinator.
“The grownups left with materials they can use at home to help their children with math concepts, and the children left with greater confidence and the memory of an evening spent with adults who are clearly interested in their success.”
The next session is set for Tuesday, March 12, beginning at 5 p.m., at the school system’s 441 Gordon Street Center in Jefferson. Dinner – Chick-fil-A platters provided by the Braselton Rotary Club, with chips and cookies provided by school system volunteers, will be served “as usual,” Dr. Warwick said, and a raffle drawing for participants will conclude the festivities, “also as usual,” Warwick said.
Sessions are focused around math games and geared to students from kindergarten through middle school. Free childcare is offered for pre-schoolers.
Another session is scheduled for April 18, and a year-end celebration is planned May 9. Attendance at previous sessions is not required, and all are welcome, Dr. Warwick said.
Susan Satterfield and her daughter Chloe, a sixth-grader at West Jackson Middle School attended their first Family Math Night Feb. 5.
Chloe’s mom, a Pre-K teacher at North Jackson Elementary School, says they plan to come back.
“I like math, but Chloe – not so much,” Mrs. Satterfield said. “But she realizes math is important when mom takes time to do something like this.”
She said participating in the session has opened the door to more conversation about math at home and helps them as they “look for more way to reach her.”
Not having to worry about dinner made the evening “more enjoyable” and relieved the stress of trying to squeeze “one more thing” into the evening, she said.
Dr. Warwick observed after the February session that, when she looked around the room that night, “it didn’t matter if the parents knew each other, what schools the children attended, or what their situations were outside of the evening. Every family that attended was having a good time and enjoying a warm meal in fellowship.”
Michelle Crook, a mom of four South Jackson Elementary School students, reflected that sentiment in an email to Dr. Warwick last week.
“Family Math Night has exceeded my expectations,” she wrote. “(From) the first night we attended, I was pleasantly surprised with fun lessons, hands-on help, dinner, math games and even a giveaway.
“My kids look forward to this monthly event and to be honest, I do, too!”
Organizers ask that those planning to attend the March 12 event reserve a spot to ensure adequate food and materials are available. Parents can return the form sent home with students or notify Dr. Warwick by phone to 706-367-5151, ext. 17138, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The names of the adults attending, the number of children attending, and the grade level of the children or ages of pre-schoolers are requested.
The Jackson County School System serves approximately 8,000 students in Pre-K through 12th grade at 10 schools across the county. To see more photos from the Feb. 5 event, visit the JCSS Facebook page.