Location and general information
The Math Attack programme is a specific response to poor local education standards and alarming declines in understanding of mathematics among school-age children. Academic pass rates in mathematics have been on the decline for well over a decade. Around 50% of male school students in Saint Lucia fails mathematics and around 20% of children who repeat a grade in school have some identifiable learning disability. Currently, fewer than 15% of school leavers in the region move on to further education. School dropout rates are closely associated with adverse health outcomes. Children who fail in school are more likely to engage in subsequent health-impairing behaviours as adolescents. Failing students are also more likely to drop out of school.
The Math Attack programme will provide a child-friendly, safe and welcoming environment for after-school academic enrichment and support for at-risk youth between the ages of 11 and 15, using sport as a tool to enhance the development of life skills, foster positive social behaviours and improve academic performance.
Children are born wanting to move. The options for sport and play will be fun and modified where necessary to encourage team building and leadership development.
To motivate the participants, Sacred Sports Foundation ties small rewards to children’s efforts and progress so they can experience the short-term, ongoing pay-off of their sweat.
Children of all ages get excited about reaching personal achievements and contributing to team goals. Group and individual feedback loops are built into all activities.
- To use sport as a tool to enhance the development of life skills, foster positive social behaviours and improve academic performance.
- To provide a child-friendly, safe and welcoming environment for after-school academic enrichment and support for at-risk youth between the ages of 11 and 15.
- For 120 participants to attend a well-structured after-school programme three days per week, and receive high-quality assistance in three core programme areas:
- mathematics and academic tutoring,
- extracurricular sporting activities, and
- life skills.
- Mathematics homework support/tutoring three days a week (60 minutes per day), covering topics including academic enrichment, technology skills development and self-discipline.
- Sport support three days per week (60 minutes per day), including defined mathematics skills coaching and improved understanding of nutrition, health and well-being.
- Life skills support three days per week (30 minutes per day), including a conflict resolution programme and positive behaviour reinforcement to enhance learning and negotiation skills.
It is anticipated that over 85% of the participating students will report that their marks increase by at least one grade level annually as a result of attending the programme. Key stakeholders are expected to see noticeable signs of improvement in participants’ learning attitude – for example, a more positive view of school, better study habits and an increase in the completion of homework.
The programme will lead to:
- improved academic performance and better grades in mathematics,
- better physical health and understanding of nutrition,
- a greater ability to find a peaceful solution to disagreements,
- improved social and emotional well-being of most of the participants,
- greater engagement in school of all participants,
- improved student behaviour, and
- greater parent/guardian engagement.