Circuit Learning Disrupts The Way Kids Learn MathBy Amanda Lewan on October 14th, 2014 /
What started as a program in the Spring of 2013, has now grown into a full fledged educational center in Bingham Farms.
The approach is a form of “circuit learning” similar to fitness circuits. Kids move around into different sets where they see how math skills play out in real life. The focus is context for youth, and the results are almost immediate improvements.
“A lot of kids aren’t motivated to learn math,” said Co-founder Maggie Durant. “It’s a really hard problem for parents to solve.”
Durant started the program with Co-founder Reid Gough, a former Dean of Davenport University. For Reed, he was tired of witnessing thousands of kids enter college unprepared to handle math. While Durant had seen much of her family work in education, and people entering the workforce with a lack of skills and motivation.
“I decided to take a step back and try to help solve this problem,” said Reid. “It was very apparent that it had to start much earlier in their lives.”
Reid and Durant designed the educational program to help make a difference at the early age of 1st – 9th grade. With help from a partnership between Matrix Human Services, the Skillman Foundation, Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, and Cornerstone Schools they were able to deliver math and reading programs to students.
The approach was quickly a success, allowing them to expand more schools and open a full time center. The first time it was offered in May 2013, 90% of students (28 of 31) completed the 7-week program. Retention rates continue to be high. Reid and Durant estimate retention rates at around 85%, and satisfaction rates with parents and students are at 95%. They’ve grown to now helping a couple hundred students.
Circut Learning has now worked with 23 schools in Detroit. If the growth continues, the two say they will continue to work with schools in the city and focus on their Bingham Farms location, with a hope to eventually open other locations around Metro Detroit.
The two are both originally from Metro Detroit and moved back after 15 years to start Circuit Learning. Mostly, they say, it felt like the right time to make a difference in their home.
“I wanted to do something meaningful and purposeful. We saw a dramatic need here,” said Durant. ” In some ways I feel like I’m really lucky to be from Detroit. I can give back and there’s a need for this work.”
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