Culturally Based Mathematics Camp Returns to CSUN in June

A student from last year’s algebra camp

A student from last year’s algebra camp completes a mathematics problem on the board. Photo by Lee Choo.

Looking for a summer program that will not only keep your child busy but also enhance his or her math skills and cultural awareness? The Culturally Based Algebra Camp may be the answer.

The six-week summer program returns to California State University, Northridge from June 17 through July 26. The camp will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at The Black House, located on the northwest side of campus at 14348 Halsted St.

The program is primarily geared to African-American students in grades 1 through 12 who reside in the San Fernando Valley. It offers a range of math courses and culturally based curriculum designed to enhance student skills and success, at no cost to the participant.

“This program has eliminated math phobia, motivated students to exceed minimum expectations and provided students necessary tools to excel in mathematics,” said Pastor James Thomas, one of the program founders and its cultural teacher.

Thomas said the goal of the program is to offer math curriculum that will foster high academic achievement and improve college readiness among African-American students.

The program is being held at CSUN for the second year in conjunction with Living Word Church, the Departments of Pan African Studies and Mathematics. It is partially funded by a grant from the CSU Summer Algebra Institute and has received support from the Educational Opportunity Program.

“As a co-sponsor of the camp, the Pan African studies department helps students tackle what can sometimes be a difficult subject while at the same time we are able to expose them to the richness of the black community,” said Karin Stanford, chair of the department. “The algebra camp is a culturally based program, which is a wonderful opportunity for African-Americans to learn about math in an environment that also respects their culture and heritage.”

Werner Horn, chair of the Department of Mathematics, said his department is providing support to help ready students to enroll at CSUN and encourage an interest in the fields of math and science.

“African-Americans have been traditionally underrepresented in all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields, and they still are underrepresented,” Horn said. He said STEM careers offer some of the most attractive and rewarding careers.

Horn said pre-tests and post-tests of students have shown “significant improvement for the mathematics achievement due to this program.”

Students who wish to participate are required to submit a personal statement, a letter of recommendation from a teacher (preferably a mathematics instructor) or community member, and his/her report card from the previous semester. Enrollment is expected to increase to more than 150 students, and early registration is recommended. For more information about the Culturally Based Algebra Camp and to apply, email or contact James Thomas at (323) 459-7636.

, , ,