The Academic Preparation Squad
Status: 501(c)(3) Nonprofit
Project Dir: Amir "R.C." Glymph, M.S.
Areas of expertise:
Special Education, K-12
One day in 2006 while teaching a new algebra class at a South Los Angeles area high school, R.C. was approached by a student, "Davon", who had tears in his eyes. When asked what the trouble was, Davon replied, "I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to graduate." When R.C. asked why, the student said, "Because I never learned how to divide... I've never told anybody this." Davon was a 19-year-old high school senior with learning challenges primarily attributed to socioeconomic disadvantages associated with living in South Central Los Angeles. Davon admitted that he had been too embarrassed to tell anyone of his learning deficiency.
Believing that Davon was not alone, R.C. surveyed the class. He was astounded to learn that one-third of the class said they had not adequately learned how to perform foundational mathematics to include multiplication and division. Most of the students admitted they were still counting on their fingers. That was the catalyst for a paradigm shift for R.C. As a veteran educator, R.C. realized he was able to help children learn foundational mathematics in a much more effective way than what was being provided by current school curriculum.
Davon's plight was the inspiration for the Academic Preparation Squad, which R.C. founded four years later. Its mission is to help create unequaled interest, excitement, and proficiency in K-12 mathematics. Since 2010, the Academic Preparation Squad has helped thousands of disadvantaged children in Los Angeles and abroad to improve their foundational mathematics skills; and obtain the necessary educational development for independence and success.
This project aims to prepare Elementary and Middle school students for success in mathematic. The academic Preparation Squad will conducted workshops and trainings for program administrators, teachers, parents and students. These instructional events will provide participants with the knowledge of how to improve student attitudes, and increase engagement in learning mathematics. Upon completion of the training participants will know how to use Math Maze to address the needs and learning styles of learners, including students with special needs.
We believe that pupil instruction must accommodate all styles of learning: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Additionally, the most effective method used to teach children foundational mathematics is to make learning fun and captivating. The core of our strategy is the Math Maze game which is primarily used as an "intervention tool" to reinforce mathematic fundamentals. The results have been compelling. Thus far, the Math Maze Intervention Tool has shown to be especially helpful to students with special needs including those with emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, and students who are learning English as a second language. Our unique approach fosters cooperative learning by incorporating both educators and parents in the student's learning process..