UCLA project builds bridges between schools and families

Center X’s Parent Curriculum Project helps parents learn how to make the most of math homework

Joanie Harmon

The cafeteria at John Adams Elementary School in Torrance was packed, an unusual occurrence on a Friday before the start of school.

But instead of students eating their lunches, parents whose children were in a UCLA Young Scholars workshop occupied the cafeteria benches. Their teacher for the day was Theodore Sagun, a math coach for the Math Project at UCLA’s Center X; their lesson: “Supporting Your Children in Common Core State Standards Mathematics.”

“Parents are instrumental in their child’s learning of math,” said Sagun, after wrapping up the parents’ workshop. He serves on the board of directors of the Greater Los Angeles Mathematics Council. “We want them to be involved and to encourage their kids to develop critical thinking, problem-solving skills and communication skills. Homework presents parents with a fantastic opportunity to ask how the child may have arrived at a solution, how the child may have reasoned through a problem and if there are other possible strategies to solve a problem.”

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