Math proficiency is below 50% for elementary school students in the D.C. public school system. In a society where one’s education level correlates with his/her socio-economic status, students risk becoming impoverished if they do not succeed in school. Therefore, we created MASTERS, an after-school math program where 4th and 5th grade students from a D.C. public school complete math projects with high school volunteers.
Instead of students focusing on redundant math drills, MASTERS enables students to complete a unit of applied math every month, ranging from cooking to statistics. Students often view math as unimportant; our goal is to motivate young students to enjoy and succeed in math by demonstrating that the subject is useful and fun. By enlisting high school students who are academically successful and enjoy learning, participants discover that both their enthusiasm to learn and their hard work will lead them to completing their secondary education, attending college, and finding a sustainable career.
In order for MASTERS to continue to run efficiently, we need additional funding to alleviate the cost of transporting volunteers to and from the school in D.C. We will use the reward to provide reliable transportation for the volunteers without depleting resources for the participants. It will also us help market ourselves to future donors, and help MASTERS become self-sustainable for the future.