The Colleen Bevis Elementary PTA was recently awarded the STEM + Families Math Night Grant for $1,000. The grant is intended to be used to engage families in math education, and it was put to good use at a Math Night on February 13.
Close to 300 students and their families attended this event, which had food and games meant to prove that math is not only an important skill to learn, but can also be fun and easily accessible to everyone.
“Mathnasium benefits the community by helping students understand that math is not for an elite class of people,” said Alejandro Cano, a Mathnasium employee who volunteered at the event.
The evening began with dinner provided by Chick-fil-A and desserts provided by Eddie Bull’s Cookie Dough. Bevis PTA President Rachel Andrews made a speech during which she discussed the importance of the event and how hard the PTA had worked to put it together.
Mathnasium of Brandon provided a variety of math-related games for the students to play, each catered to different age groups so there was something for every student. This included puzzles, addition and multiplication games and coloring with shapes, among other things.
Middle and high school students, parents and teachers from Bevis volunteered to help with the games and keep the night running smoothly.
“The ‘STEM + Families Math Night’ event is truly a community builder,” said Kym Taylor with the Bevis PTA. “It brings together students, their families, school faculty, administration and community partner service providers, with a common goal to communicate that math is not only relevant, but fun.”
The night ended with a raffle, which parents entered by completing an online survey. The prizes were baskets of STEM-related games specific to different grade levels, paid for by the grant. Bevis Elementary PTA was one of just 35 PTAs to receive this grant, only two of which were in Florida.
“Our community is comprised of busy families who desire to prioritize family time, but who are pulled—often away from one another—by the demands of school, work, sports, volunteer and extracurricular obligations,” said Taylor. “Math Night allows families to just ‘show up’ as they are, without even the need to plan dinner, with no requirements aside from enjoying one another and experiencing math as fun.”