Young People’s Project, Making Math a Game for Twenty Years

Bob Moses, civil-rights leader, founded the Algebra Project, in 1982, stating that math literacy had replaced voting literacy as the key to full citizenship for Americans from poor and racial/ethnic minority communities. Over the years the project grew exponentially and Moses developed several math games for teachers to use in the classroom. However, students at Brinkley Middle School begin thinking about a model for a youth-led organization that centers around young people teaching each other mathematics. In 1996, the Young People’s Project (YPP) was founded in Jackson, MS and twenty years later, YPP has become a model for math education and has expanded its project to six other cities in the nation.

YPP uses math literacy work to develop the abilities of elementary through high school students to succeed in school and in life, and in doing so involves them in efforts to eliminate institutional obstacles to their success. YPP currently works with over 100 students in four different locations throughout the city of Jackson. One of those locations is at the Boys & Girls Club, Capitol Unit on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

All sites focus on fun ways to learn math that include; categorization, prime numbers, prime factorization, algebra forms of numbers, and number theory. These math lessons are all presented in a form of a game in which children build 3-D models out of hula hoops and cones. The games have students use their critical thinking skills to get from one side of the room to the other by solving math equations.

At each site, math literacy workers, conduct workshops for students in grades K-8. These math literacy workers are high school students from Jackson and are paid to teach at these sites. Most of math literacy workers went through YPP when they were younger.

According to Marquis Lowe, Site Director, 90% of all students that participate in YPP has improved math scores from one term to the next and generally do better in all other subject areas.

YPP currently employs six math literacy workers to teach at one if is four locations, however they would love to hire more staff to serve more children. If you are interested in helping support YPP please click on the link below to make a donation.

For more information please call 769-216-3758.

Curriculum handbook developed by YPP.


About Jackson State University, Center for University-Based Development (933 Articles)
We blog about things that are absolutely, positively West Jackson (Mississippi).

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