Principal Investigator: Marlene Kliman

Other current TERC staff: Valerie Martin, Audrey Martínez-Gudapakkam, Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

Funder: The Heising-Simons Foundation

Dates: 2014–2020 

YMCA of Silicon Valley and TERC are collaborating to prepare for, conduct, and support a national rollout of Make Connections: You and Me and Math, our full-year, English/Spanish adult-child math program for ages 0-5. We developed Make Connections in collaboration with several YMCA Early Learning Readiness (ELR) programs, which simultaneously engage young children and their caregivers in a preschool setting.   

Rollout efforts will center on ELR and on caregiver education components of YMCA-based Head Start, early learning centers, Transitional Kindergarten, and Child Watch (membership child care). This project has the potential of reaching tens of thousands of children and caregivers nationwide. Project efforts will include supporting institutionalization, for sustainability post-award.    

Make Connections promotes open-ended questions and comments, everyday math vocabulary, and adult-child hands-on exploration. The materials convey math concepts and activity steps visually to as great an extent as possible, in order to be inviting and accessible to adults with low literacy and with math anxiety. Activities rely upon everyday inexpensive or recycled materials (e.g., toilet paper tubes, plastic bottle caps, construction paper). The program includes video-based training materials, story time connections, and thematic, interdisciplinary math units for ages 0-2 and ages 3-5.  

Impact evaluation demonstrates great increases in extent to which caregivers feel confident finding and sharing math in everyday life with the children in their care.

Families + Math = Success.  

This report provides some early impact data on the program. Thanks to the Heising-Simons Foundation for their generous support.

Download here