Transforming more than just math skills in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods

4 min

JUMP Math and TFSS’s beyond 3:30 are empowering students to use math to make their dreams a reality

Research shows that math ability better predicts academic and life success than reading and attention skills. And the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately widened learning gaps for already marginalized students. In some cases, students are four grades behind their peers in math knowledge. And often, private math tutoring is a luxury families can’t afford. If not addressed, their learning gap in math can impact everything from their future health to earning potential. 

With the support of the LesLois Shaw Foundation, JUMP Math and the Toronto Foundation for Student Success (TFSS) are working together to help overcome the growing inequities in math through a pilot, online math tutoring program for up to 1,200 middle-school students in the TDSB. The program is being offered as part of TFSS’s successful beyond 3:30 after-school program, which operates in 18 elementary public schools in Toronto’s highest-risk neighbourhoods. It’s igniting a love of math in participating students, and empowering them to enter high school with strong math skills.  

Leveraging JUMP Math’s award-winning classroom approach to teaching math to customize and provide online tutor training and resources, JUMP Math has created a range of math tutoring modules to meet the learning needs of beyond 3:30 students in key skill areas. As well, the team is providing online training to Mentor Tutors at each of the 18 beyond 3:30 program sites who will then be equipped to train their fellow tutors. Most importantly, they will help transform attitudes towards math in their peers and students. The JUMP Math team is also providing support to the project, gathering feedback, and continuing to refine the program. 

“Many students were initially reluctant to take part as some find doing math in front of their peers nerve wracking and intimidating. However, after a few sessions, students became more active and engaged, especially when learning new techniques such as “skip counting”. Students now look forward to taking part in Jump Math, asking staff for additional days or programming.”

– Tutor, Joseph Brant Public School

The pilot program is already having an impact on the young people participating and funding for the pilot has been extended to allow the program to run through July to help students with learning loss due to COVID. The hope is that this pilot program will ultimately have an effect that stretches beyond Toronto’s borders, with the result being an effective online tutor training model that JUMP Math can expand to even more students. Making math accessible to these students will help make their dreams accessible, too.

“Math study is an ideal starting point to break down social inequality and empower individuals to build a smarter, kinder, more equitable world,” says Ken Aucoin, CEO, JUMP Math. “Leveling the math achievement gap is a powerful way to level even deeper gaps in society.”

To learn more about this pilot or find out how you can support it, contact JUMP Math.