PBS SoCal Introduces FAMILY MATH Multi-Platform Initiative As Part of ‘Early Learning = Success’ Campaign Providing Free Bilingual Educational Tools + Fun Workshops

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Introduces FAMILY MATH Self-Guided Educational Workshops And Bilingual Resources Targeted to Parents of Kids Ages 2-5

Photos courtesy of PBS SoCal.

“Research shows that early math skills are an early predictor for a child’s future success,” said Jamie Annunzio Myers, COO of PBS SoCal and KCET. “We see a great opportunity to better support outcomes for children in our local communities."

PBS SoCal, the home of the entire PBS schedule and a crucial educational resource for the Southern California region, announced today the launch of the FAMILY MATH multi-platform initiative at pbssocal.org/familymath designed to help families and caregivers with children ages 2-5 years old prepare for kindergarten and beyond. Highlighting the benefit “Early Learning = Success,” the new initiative emphasizes the entire family learning together to unlock early learners’ true potential. The FAMILY MATH program is comprised of fun online workshops, in-person educational activities and original videos as well as a comprehensive collection of editorial content.

“Research shows that early math skills are an early predictor for a child’s future success,” said Jamie Annunzio Myers, COO of PBS SoCal and KCET. “With this in mind, we see a great opportunity to better support outcomes for children in our local communities by providing families with equitable and inclusive learning resources to unlock every child’s true potential. By facilitating a positive math experience among both parents and children, our goal is to increase parents’ confidence in their abilities to encourage their child’s learning of math concepts at home.”

By accessing the program and interacting with user-friendly math resources, the goal is for parents to help early learners foster a lifelong love of learning. The program also aims to close the achievement gap for young learners from low-income households. While increasing math proficiency and kindergarten readiness, the program will empower families to fully integrate themselves into their children’s learning community.

Online Parent Workshops. The five self- paced learning experiences at pbssocal.org/familymath include five 20-30-minute lessons created to build math confidence. Video content will be available on YouTube at youtube.com/pbssocal. This marks the first time the organization is developing original educational content with early childhood math activities and learning tools. Utilizing everyday objects and activities that turn math into fun, interactive learning experiences, parents and caregivers can guide their children using detailed, step-by-step tutorials with topics that include:

  •     Number Sense & Counting
  •     Building math confidence
  •     Understanding relationships between numbers
  •     Patterns
  •     Building memorization and reasoning skills
  •     Learning to identify sequences
  •     Shapes
  •     Recognition and critical thinking skills
  •     Understanding dimension
  •     Sorting & Collecting
  •     Understanding similarities & differences
  •     Building thinking & problem-solving skills
  •     Spatial Sense
  •     Navigating through spaces
  •     Organizing and locating objects

In-Person Parent Workshops. In addition to the digital, self-paced workshops, PBS SoCal will be hosting live, in-person workshops (done virtually for the time being, due to the pandemic) to serve as a resource to parents as well. PBS SoCal has long been recognized for its history of community outreach when it comes to early learning. Prior to the launch of FAMILY MATH, many of the preliminary efforts have taken place in Compton with partnerships that have included Compton Unified School District, Compton Public Library, head starts, non-profits, and other early learning agencies that include Crystal Stairs, Inc. and LA County Library. Though PBS SoCal will be piloting the program in the Compton region, workshops will eventually be taking place throughout Southern California over the coming year, focusing on spreading the Family Math curriculum to other communities.

Editorial Content. Additionally, a robust slate of editorial content and digital resources will be available to extend the reach of the initiative aimed to complement early learning by developing good learning habits and navigating resources that include:

-Advice for families from early math education experts
-How-to lessons around gaining social emotional skills
-Community portraits of real-life application of math in families’ everyday lives
-Subject-specific learning resources

Newsletter. A newsletter will also be created and distributed to enhance user experiences promoting the most up-to-date content, in-person workshops and resources for FAMILY MATH. Newsletter sign-up and a full list of resources can be found here: pbssocal.org/familymath.

Teacher Resources. Even though the PBS SoCal Family Math content is geared toward parents, the content is adaptable and accessible for early learning educators. Many educators share the content with their families and use the activities in their classroom. 

Workshop Curriculum. The curriculum for the workshops is centered on families' voices. Over the course of the past year, parent design sessions were conducted by PBS SoCal with Compton families to discuss the challenges families face engaging in at-home math learning. The team looked to identify resources that were most useful to them, discover/discuss parents’ own apprehensions around math and took the opportunity to reinforce to participating parents their power to advocate for the needs of their families and their children’s education. The results from the parent design sessions were compiled in this report: Designing Family Math . The curriculum was reviewed by parents in Southern California through various user tests and by advisors from the National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE), University of Southern California, Irvine (UCI), Erikson Institute - Early Math Collaborative and LEGO Foundation. 

Funding. Funding for FAMILY MATH was generously provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation and Overdeck Family Foundation. Additional funding was provided by the Frank McHugh-O’Donovan Foundation.

Join the conversation on social media using #FamilyMath and #PBSSoCal

About PBS SoCal
PBS SoCal is a donor-supported community institution that is a part of Public Media Group of Southern California, the flagship PBS station formed by the merger of PBS SoCal and KCETLink Media Group.  PBS SoCal delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. We offer the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE, Independent Lens, a broad library of documentary films including works from Ken Burns; and educational PBS KIDS programs including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George. PBS programming is available to stream on the FREE PBS App on iOS and Android devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, and Chromecast. PBS SoCal is also available to watch live on YouTube TV. 

About Heising-Simons Foundation
The Heising-Simons Foundation is a family foundation based in Los Altos and San Francisco, California. The Foundation works with its many partners to advance sustainable solutions in climate and clean energy, enable groundbreaking research in science, enhance the education of our youngest learners, and support human rights for all people.

About Overdeck Family Foundation
Overdeck Family Foundation was founded in 2011 by John and Laura Overdeck with the goal of providing all children the opportunity to unlock their potential. The foundation focuses exclusively on enhancing education, funding efforts both inside and outside of school in the areas of early childhood, informal STEM education, and K-9 programs that include supporting educators and student-centered learning environments.

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Chelsea Grosbeck
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