Scholars program comes to a close

Jul. 18, 2014 @ 07:37 PM

Kevin Paguada and Kimathi Reed certainly aren’t shy.

The two 10-year-old participants in the Summer Scholars program at the Emily K Center didn’t need much prodding Friday to tell a visitor about the project they worked on over the past five weeks while serving as student scholars.

The project titled “The Math Behind the World Cup” gave them an opportunity to marry a current event – the recent World Cup – with some good old fashioned mathematics.

One problem they sought to solve was the distance the trophy travelled on its recent tour around the world, beginning in Rio de Janeiro in September 2013 before returning to Brazil, the host country of this year’s World Cup, nine months later.

They also explored populations, life expectancies and annual incomes of countries that competed in the World Cup.

“It took a lot of work,” Reed said. “We had to research and type.”

That’s exactly the reason the Summers Scholars program was created eight years ago, to keep kids thinking and learning during the summer months while they are out-of-school.

“This program was set up to accelerate learning over the summer,” said Adam Eigenrauch, executive director of the Emily Krzyzewski Center. “We’ve had eight years of terrific outcomes.”

Friday marked the end of the summer program, which culminated with a project fair and a picnic lunch for students and parents.

Jerry Lopez, who will be a freshman at Jordan High School next month, has been attending programs at the center since he was in first grade.

Lopez said the summer program works.

“It helps me a lot during the summer,” Lopez said. “It helps me to not forget what I’ve learned so that I’m not behind the next year.”

Lopez, a Pioneer Scholar, a program for students in grades 1-8, is set to transition to the Scholars to College program for students in grades 9-12.

That program helps students focus on maintaining strong academics, setting and meeting high expectations and preparing for college.

In addition to “The Math Behind the World Cup,” scholars engaged in other learning experiences over the course of the five-week project-based program.

Amy Jenkins, a lead tutor, said her seventh-grade students got a real wake up call during her “Financial Literacy: Math in the Real World” classes during which they were given a fictional pay check and household budget.

 “They had a complete emotional meltdown when they didn’t have enough money to pay the bills,” Jenkins said. “It opened their eyes up a lot.”