Math students donate to Jackson flood relief

Published: Sep. 10, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Learning how to master math can be challenging.

So, sprinkling in a little fun along the way can allow students to improve. That’s the goal of Imagine Learning.

“Making learning fun is part of the mission we have here.,” said the senior vice president of Imagine Learning Jeff Pendleton. “How do we engage and ignite learning for kids? Being able to create a point-centered system as well as just motivation for things that are about the right level of hardness so you can keep going and excited about that, is an opportunity to then donate those points. It becomes a pretty good match.”

Lately, a bunch of elementary and middle schoolers across the United States solved more than 228 thousand math problems. In this program, problems earn points. And students can either keep the points to redeem on something fun or…they can donate them.

Points during times of crisis can be converted to money for charity. In this case, more than 5 million earned math points equals 5 thousand dollars.

In just 3 days, that was donated to the American Red Cross of Jackson flood relief fund…by students.

“They’re actually getting better at math. And they get to go out and donate and experience a world that’s bigger than them. So, to me, that’s the thing that’s really important. We didn’t create a game that was fun, that kids love to play and spend time on that doesn’t also create a space for them to increase their math understanding be more competitive on their math performance, and then also be able to donate,” said Pendleton.

Pendleton says when his team created the program over ten years ago, it was out of a need to create access to practice and improve math scores.

This way the students are helping a cause greater than themselves.

“When they choose to donate the points, it’s actually taking away from other fun things they get to do as well inside of the program. To me, it makes it extra 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 stated.

Pendleton says his team hoped the students would buy in 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 worked through more than 82 million math problems for a total giving of nearly $170,000 to the Red Cross.

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