Making math count
Numbers Work! is designed for children at high risk for academic failure. Studies show that a student’s math skills upon entering kindergarten are a strong indicator of future school success. Numbers Work! takes a proactive approach to closing the state’s achievement gap by preparing preschoolers for math education in grade school and beyond.
Numbers Work! creates math-rich classrooms in partnership with Head Start programs, community child-care centers, charter schools and public schools.
How Numbers Work! Makes a Difference
Research shows that a majority of preschool teachers feel uncomfortable with math instruction. Numbers Work! tackles that anxiety by providing teachers with professional development, math coaches and educational tools. The program also seeks to improve parent-teacher communication, which helps to ensure that math instruction continues in the home. Take-home math kits and family fun events are also part of that effort.
Studies of early math show that children are naturals when it comes to the basics. However, educators sometimes fail to build upon that framework. Based on the National Research Council’s report on early mathematics, Numbers Work! focuses on building comprehension in five key areas: patterns, shape and spatial understanding, measurement, numbers and operations, and charts and graphs.
The Role of The Saint Paul Foundation
Numbers Work! launched in 2011 as a program of The Saint Paul Foundation. It was inspired by Words Work!, a successful early literacy program of the F. R. Bigelow Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation. Generous funding for Numbers Work! comes from several Minnesota Philanthropy Partner affiliates—The Saint Paul Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation, Mardag Foundation—and many individual supporters.