Buddies4math founded by Neel Guha launched a pilot program that pairs Middle School students to tutor Math to elementary students in March 2010. Our goal was to make Math fun, interesting and less intimidating. The focus was on building skills, gaining fluency and understanding Math through one to one tutoring. Unlike other programs, we are focusing on learning math facts through games and play.

Our student tutors worked with 14 Third graders over a period of 10 weeks from March – May 2010. We assigned enthusiastic and dedicated Middle Schoolers from Palo Alto and Mountain View to tutor third graders from Castro School once a week for a 45 minute session of math through fun and games. For 10 weeks we met on Friday afternoons after school in Room 9 in Castro school and played games that made the third graders add, subtract, multiply, estimate, among other things. The 10 week session culminated in a “math fair” where the third graders spent time at various stations. Each of the stations was conceived and created by the student tutors to explore a math concept. The stations ranged from exploring fractions through slicing bread, math scavenger hunt, mental math, Cafe math (restaurant theme with a budget of $2 for each student), probability with lego units and a multiplication bean bag toss.

We found that Third graders struggling with Math benefited immensely from working one to one with tutors. Working with tutors, the third graders improved math skills and gained confidence in Math. Our focus on games and play made math fun and less intimidating.

Our program is unique in that we are aiming to draw Middle & High School kids who like Math to work as tutors. The Buddies4math program hopes to give our older students an opportunity to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of younger kids. We believe that volunteering as tutors helps build the volunteer spirit and leadership skills in our student tutors.

If you are a middle or high school student who enjoys math and would like to volunteer in our program as a math tutor, please send an email to buddies4math@gmail.com