Claremont Courier - Claremont Long Beach Math Collaborative

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                                                                                                            Saturday 08-06-2011 u 75 cents


                                                       Paul A. Fryxell was a botantist and research scientist
                        Obituary on page 7

                                                                                       It’s not every day you can celebrate
                                                                                       the 50th birthday of the U.S. president
                                                                                       Story on page 4

Pomona College dining hall workers are protesting again                                 We tweet @Courier91711
Story on page 5
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                           De Oliver Walker, 14, shows his project called The Best                       COURIER photo/Steven Felschundneff

Adding                     Dorm Room Ever to his father Dion Walker and brother
                           Mark Walker, 11, on Wednesday at Harvey Mudd College.
                           De Oliver was one of 25 students chosen for a 4-week in-

things up                  tensive math course this summer at the college. Story and
                           photos on page 8.
                                                                                                                                      Claremont COURIER/Saturday, August 6, 2011   8

Summer academy jump starts students’ math skills
                                                                                                                       also helped them establish goals and worked with

       wenty incoming African                                                                                          them on how to reach those goals.”
       American freshman from                                                                                             The added emphasis on overall development
       Long Beach will have an                                                                                         was a pleasant surprise for the students who at-
                                                                                                                       tended the academy.
added edge when they enter Jordan                                                                                         “I thought it would be boring but we were al-
High School thanks to the collabora-                                                                                   ready on a field trip on our 2nd day,” said incom-
tive efforts of Claremont Graduate                                                                                     ing 9th grader De Oliver Walker. “It was very
                                                                                                                       challenging at times but they taught a lot about
University (CGU), Harvey Mudd                                                                                          Africa and our history. They taught a lot about
College and the Long Beach Unified                                                                                     projection as well because if you are shy, you’re
School District.                                                                                                       not going to get your point across. They taught us
   The first Claremont-Long Beach Math Col-                                                                            how to be men and told us that it’s not going to be
laborative summer math academy concluded on                                                                            easy.”
Wednesday, ending a 4-week program that saw                                                                               Learning about the accomplishments of Blacks
incoming 9th graders improve their math skills,                                                                        throughout history served as a source of inspira-
learn more about their African American heritage                                                                       tion for incoming 9th grader Tremayne Sesson.
and develop life skills during their stay on the                                                                          “At first, I thought we were just going to do
Harvey Mudd campus.                                 Tremayne Sesson answers a question from a guest at the closing math all day long but it turned out to be a lot
   “We’re going to use this year as something we ceremonies for the Claremont-Long Beach Math Collaborative on more,” he said. “We learned about our ancestors.
                                                    Wednesday in Claremont. Tremayne was one of 25 8th grade stu-
can continue to build on,” said Reverend Leon dents from north Long Beach who spent 4 weeks in an intensive It was nice to be able to see all the things we’ve
Wood, CGU McNair Scholars Program director, math education program at Harvey Mudd.                                     done and say we did all that.”
who was the brainchild of the summer program.                                                                             Rev. Wood hopes the program can continue to
“We want to impact the academic performance skills          College faculty, graduate students and undergradu- grow next year with 2 groups of students. He would like
that they will need for the 21st century. This year rep- ate math majors conducted the academy. They taught to continue having the first group return in subsequent
resented a true partnership between the college, school basic math concepts and assigned a project to students summers while introducing new incoming 9th graders
district and the community.”                             to use the math skills they learned to create a two-di- to the program.
   A Long Beach resident since 1987, Rev. Wood mensional drawing of the dorm room they stayed in                    “For many of these students, this is the only way that
learned that less than one percent of African American   with measurements in inches before recreating their they will be exposed to college,” Rev. Wood said. “It’s
male students at Jordan High School were passing the dorm room as a three-dimensional model.                      amazing that their parents trusted us because we had
California State University’s Early Assessment Pro-         Along with a focus on math concepts, the program their sons for a month. I want to see this keep going.”
gram exam. The exam tests college readiness in spe- included field trips to places such as the African Amer-                                           —Landus Rigsby
cific subjects.                                          ican Museum, the Brea Tar Pits and the Black Rodeo.
   He eventually pitched his idea for the summer acad- Self-esteem and appreciation of African American his-
emy to CGU representatives. From there, he found a tory were also incorporated into the program’s curricu-
growing support base that came to include CGU’s lum.
School of Educational Studies, Harvey Mudd College,         “We wanted to help them improve, not just their self-
Long Beach Unified School District, Pitzer College and   esteem, but to better understand their cultural history
other volunteers and donors.                             and how they can contribute to society,” said Omar
   An initial Blais Grant began funding for the project. Safie, program coordinator of the Claremont-Long
More than $100,000 was eventually raised to finan- Beach Math Collaborative summer math academy. “We
cially support the program this summer with pledges
being made for 2012 and 2013.
   “The Blais Grant funds projects that take place be-
tween CGU and the [undergraduate Claremont] col-
leges,” said Margaret Grogan, CGU School of
Educational Studies professor and dean. “It allowed us
to attract more financial support. We want to keep doing
this as long as we can get the funding.”
Claremont COURIER/Saturday, August 6, 2011   9

COURIER photos/
Steven Felschundeff

ABOVE: Anthony Oldham, 13,
shows his family the pentagon
he created during a reception
for the Claremont-Long Beach
Math Collaborative on Wednes-
day in Claremont. The program
was a joint venture between
Harvey Mudd College, Clare-
mont Graduate University and
Long Beach Unified School Dis-
trict to provide specialized math
education for African American
students from the Long Beach

AT LEFT: Reverend Leon Wood
greets guests at the closing cer-
emonies of the Claremont -
Long Beach Math Collaborative
on Wednesday in Claremont.
Rev. Wood was a key figure in
putting the math collaborative

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Description: Aug. 6, 2011 Claremont Courier Story on the Claremont Long Beach Math Collaborative.