Dryden Mutual Insurance Company Sponsors More Than 30 Math & Movement Family Fun Nights in New York State
By Suzy Koontz
If sponsoring Math & Movement Family Fun Nights makes a local business a Kinesthetic Learning Hero, then Dryden Mutual Insurance Company (www.drydenmutual.com) based in Dryden, New York, is a Superhero!
Generously supporting Math & Movement Family Fun Nights all across New York State, Dryden Mutual is helping kids and families engage in learning math and reading in a new, exciting way. With more than 30 events already held and at least 10 more scheduled for this school year, Dryden Mutual has impacted at least 3,000 students and their families, giving them the opportunity to see that learning math can be fun, easy, and effective. Many of these schools are following up with more intensive training and implementation of the Math & Movement program, further increasing Dryden Mutual’s long term impact.
Some events are small and intimate and others are large and exciting. In Watervliet last fall, we had over 350 people attend the family event! It was an amazing turn out with great energy and wide impact. At the JD George Elementary School Family night, we had just over 80 attend. During the same two-day period, we had a Symposium for area teachers where we paired teachers with the JD George students. Many of the students who attended the daytime program also attended in the evening. It seems that the students went home so excited about Math & Movement that they dragged their parents back to school in the evening for more “fun with learning math!”
Superheroes make a difference. Because the training Symposium was happening on the same days as the Family Fun Night with the same students, we have data to show how much impact was made. Students benefited from the combined Family Fun Night and 120 minutes of instruction with the teachers during the day (teachers had four 30-minute sessions with the students). We are thrilled to share that there was a 56% average increase in the students’ scores!
In Rochester, New York, we were in one of the most economically challenged areas of the city. While this Family Night had a low turnout in numbers, the ones that attended made tremendous growth. The Rochester event reminded me that we MUST teach children in the way that each individual child CAN learn, not necessarily in the manner that we want to teach them (or we have been trained to teach them). Some of the traditional teaching strategies are antiquated and need updating! Kinesthetic strategies WORK with children. Kinesthetic strategies allow them to learn and then immediately feel proud of themselves.
Kevin [name changed for privacy] is an example of this! I met Kevin, a sixth grade student in Rochester who had many gaps in his math understanding. I worked with Kevin on the Clock mat for a short time, then went to work with other children and other math concepts. After an hour, I checked back in with Kevin. Not only did he remember much from the short lesson, but he had processed the information in a manner that allows for permanent learning! You can see a video of his time with me here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VX9c7bTtGU
Superheroes provide a safe and supportive environment so creativity can flourish. In Savona, knowing she had the resources she needed, the lead teacher creatively met the key needs of her students. She organized an after-school Math & Movement class with the third grade students in order to ensure that the students made rapid progress in math fact acquisition. With their experience, these students had the skills to lead other students in some of the activities at their Family Fun Night. This was deeply empowering for these students and will impact their approach to learning for the rest of their lives.
We are so grateful to Dryden Mutual Insurance for stepping up as a Kinesthetic Learning Superhero. Dryden Mutual’s sponsorship continues to offer great encouragement and fantastic progress in our mission of helping all students become competent and confident in math!
If you would like to approach a business in your community to ask if they want to become a Superhero, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We would be happy to share flyers and resources that will help you show them the impact they can make. The world needs students who know they can learn and have skills to succeed. And the world needs more superheroes to help make that happen!