Regarding math and science, the public school system nationwide desperately needs to help our students dig themselves out of a terrible situation that will negatively impact them and society for a lifetime. According to a recent article by Governor Jared Polis, “math scores have dropped in Colorado and the nation after three severely disrupted school years during the pandemic.” The late televangelist and author, Robert Schuller wrote a best-selling book in 1983 titled “Tough Times Never Last But Tough People Do.” The CABPES organization is answering the call to the dilemma Governor Polis has described regarding students struggling in math. CABPES is revamping its math tutoring program to address the need to help underrepresented minority students overcome the deficits they are experiencing in math and science. We are rebuilding our Math Enrichment Program (MEP) with the support of many of the outstanding engineering companies in Colorado.
CABPES is in the process of implementing a pilot “Corporate Volunteer Week” initiative to get companies to provide 15 to 20 volunteers per night in the MEP program. The MEP program is designed to tutor students in grades 5 through 12 in math on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 pm. We aim to have approximately 30 math tutors in our math tutoring program every night. This approach allows CABPES to move from a student-to-volunteer ratio of 5:1 (students: tutor) to a 2:1 ratio. We encourage companies to bring swag to give to the students. Companies can provide the students with a light dinner (pizza or sandwiches). Companies can take photos to use as marketing and promotional material to demonstrate how they serve traditionally marginalized communities needing math help. So far, the companies already participating in the “Corporate Volunteer Week” initiative love the idea. They are telling other companies about our strategy. The beauty of this process is a company can volunteer once per year or as many times as they would like. Most companies plan to volunteer for one week in the fall and one week in the spring during the upcoming school year.
Parents, the ball is in your court, plain and simple! CABPES and our corporate partners are ready to serve the students needing help in math and science. Our pilot study has shown that our new strategy will work. Parents, this is what we need you to do to help your student(s) catch up in math and science. Please bring your student(s) to our facility Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 pm. We recommend you be on time. Our data show regular attendance is critical to your child learning math. Play an essential role in your student(s) academics by getting with their teachers and finding out what they are learning in school when it comes to math. We are not asking you to teach math; just let us know what they are learning in school. With the Governor‘s support, Colorado engineering firms, and CABPES‘ vision, we can turn these students around in math and science. We have the village!
Dewey F. Brigham, Jr., Ph.D.
CABPES President and Executive Director