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Leaphart Elementary School students share their love for math with District Office staff


IRMO, SC - A group of fifth grade students at Leaphart Elementary School known as “Girls LOVE Math” have partnered with District Five office personnel for the third straight year to expand their knowledge in the subject of math. The students have one-on-one meetings with the ladies from the District Office who challenge them with not only math in the real world, but how math is used in the district.

“Studies have shown us that girls can lose interest in math by the time they reach second grade,” said District Five Instructional Specialist for Elementary Mathematics Dian Alston. “We originally started this program to target girls in fourth and fifth grades, and the past two years we have focused our emphasis on the fifth grade girls as they prepare to enter their next level of education.”

The goal of “Girls LOVE Math” is to push the girls in the program who are considered high achievers in the subject and applying math to real world problems. It gives the students the opportunity to build relationships with district office staff outside of their relationships with their math teacher. District Five Director of Accountability Missy Wall-Mitchell is in her third year of being a mentor and says it has been a tremendous benefit for the students as well as the district office staff. “It allows us to reconnect in a way that we do what we do each and every day,” Wall-Mitchell said. “This is a great way to work with young girls in our district and recharge us in our own positions at the district.”

Easter Dickerson worked in District Five for over 20 years and is now retired, but spends some of her free time as a mentor for the girls. “This is really special for me because math was my favorite subject when I was teaching,” Dickerson said. “I love being able to help these young girls connect math with the outside world and show them what math can do for them as they get ready to move on from elementary school.”

Leaphart Elementary School principal Kelly Brown is thrilled to see the growth and development of the program as it enters its third year. “Girls Who Love Math is a wonderful program that gives our young ladies a chance to have another female in the community come to the school and discuss how they use math in their jobs on a daily basis,” Brown said. “This program is a great way of strengthening the bond of our district office staff members and our students in the schools, and reminds us all why we value rigorous experiences and rich relationships!”

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