Principal Investigator: Marlene Kliman

Other current TERC staff: Audrey Martínez-Gudapakkam, Valerie Martin 

Funder: The Heising-Simons Foundation

Dates: 2014–2019 

YMCA of Silicon Valley and TERC are collaborating to prepare for, conduct, and support a national rollout of Make Connections: You and Me and Math, our full-year, English/Spanish adult-child math program for ages 0-5. We developed Make Connections in collaboration with several YMCA Early Learning Readiness (ELR) programs, which simultaneously engage young children and their caregivers in a preschool setting.   

Rollout efforts will center on ELR and on caregiver education components of YMCA-based Head Start, early learning centers, Transitional Kindergarten, and Child Watch (membership child care). This project has the potential of reaching tens of thousands of children and caregivers nationwide. Project efforts will include supporting institutionalization, for sustainability post-award.    

Make Connections promotes open-ended questions and comments, everyday math vocabulary, and adult-child hands-on exploration. The materials convey math concepts and activity steps visually to as great an extent as possible, in order to be inviting and accessible to adults with low literacy and with math anxiety. Activities rely upon everyday inexpensive or recycled materials (e.g., toilet paper tubes, plastic bottle caps, construction paper). The program includes video-based training materials, storytime connections, and thematic, interdisciplinary math units for ages 0-2 and ages 3-5.  

Impacts to date show great increases in extent to which caregivers feel confident finding and sharing math in everyday life with the children in their care. 

Families + Math = Success.  

This report includes our work with the Silicon Valley YMCA on the Nana y Yo y las Matemáticas project. Thanks to the Heising-Simons Foundation for their generous support. 

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