Math students donate to Jackson flood relief

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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Learning to master math can be difficult.

So, sprinkling a little fun along the way can help students improve. This is the goal of Imagine Learning.

“Making learning fun is part of our mission here,” said Imagine Learning senior vice president Jeff Pendleton. “How do we engage and ignite children’s learning? Being able to create a points-centric system as well as a simple motivation for things that are about the right level of hardness so that you can go on and be excited about it, is an opportunity to then give those points away. It becomes a very good game.

Lately, a group of elementary and middle school students across the United States solved more than 228,000 math problems. In this program, problems are worth points. And students can either keep the points to redeem for something fun, or…they can give them away.

Crisis points can be converted into cash for charity. In this case, more than 5 million math points earned equals $5,000.

In just 3 days, this was donated to the American Red Cross Jackson Flood Relief Fund… by students.

“Actually, they’re getting better at math. And they can go out and donate and discover a world that’s bigger than them. So, for me, that’s the thing that’s really important. We have not created a fun game, which children love to play and spend time on, which also does not create a space for them to improve their understanding of mathematics, to be more competitive in their mathematics performance , and then to be able to donate,” Pendleton said.

Pendleton says when his team created the program more than a decade ago, it was out of a need to create access to practice and improve math outcomes.

In this way, students are helping a cause greater than themselves.

“When they choose to donate the points, it actually takes away from other fun things they can do in the program. To me, that makes it even more special when they make that choice. It’s not like donating points is their only option. They have a lot of options with their points,” Pendleton said.

Pendleton says his team hoped students would join and give back.

So far, through this incentive program, students have donated 1.6 trillion math points, completed more than 2.5 million math lessons, and solved more than 82 million math problems for a donation. total of nearly $170,000 to the Red Cross.

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