Smart Program continues; word spreads at national conferences

September 19 2006

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Indiana State University's SMART Program is off to a healthy start.

The pilot, after-school math tutoring initiative developed by the ISU's Center for Mathematics Education, continues this year at DeVaney Elementary School in Terre Haute. In fact, other groups and organizations have taken notice of the program as well.

The SMART Program, which stands for Student Math AfteR-school Thinking Program, is a free outreach service for students in grades 2 through 5, which strives to find new and exciting ways teach math concepts through the use of art, music and literature. SMART kicked off activities at DeVaney last fall, and interest in the program was so great, it has been extended another year at the Title I school.

SMART students participate in a variety of hands-on projects that continuously test their math skills and get them thinking about math in new and different ways. ISU pre-service teachers enrolled in ISU's Elementary Education (ELED) 394 course serve as tutors for the program on a volunteer basis.

More than 150 students applied for only 40 available spots as part of last fall's program at DeVaney. Another group of 50 has been selected to participate this semester.

But, besides increased interest locally, the program also has appeared on the radar of teacher organizations in other parts of the country. Representatives of the SMART program have been invited to present at two large-scale conferences so far this year, including:

Sept. 20, 2006 - National Conference of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Conference in Chicago, Ill. Title: "Reaching At-Risk Students: An After-School Tutoring Program That Works!"

Feb. 24-26, 2007 - American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) in New York City. Title: "Using Pre-Service Teachers to Reach At-Risk Students: A Mathematics Tutoring Program that Works!"

For more information about ISU'S Center for Mathematics Education, the SMART Program or related initiatives or activities, please visit http://coe.indstate.edu/cme or view a video about the program at: http://helix.indstate.edu/ramgen/opa/video/2006/smart-program.rm.

If you'd be interested in learning about ways that the SMART program concept can work at your school, please contact Marylin Leinenbach, SMART Program director and assistant professor of elementary education at ISU, (812) 237-2847 or mleinenbach@indstate.edu.

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CONTACTS: Marylin Leinenbach, SMART Program director and assistant professor of elementary education, Indiana State University, (812) 237-2847 or mleinenbach@indstate.edu; Debbie Flurkey, ISU SMART Program on-site manager and Ph.D. candidate in elementary education at ISU, (812) 237-2849 or eeflurk@isugw.indstate.edu; and Kathy Compton-Spelman, DeVaney/school coordinator, (812) 462-4497.

WRITER: Maria Greninger, associate director, Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, (812) 237-4357 or mgreninger@indstate.edu.

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Story Highlights

Indiana State University's SMART Program is off to a healthy start. The pilot, after-school math tutoring initiative developed by the ISU's Center for Mathematics Education, continues this year at DeVaney Elementary School. In fact, other groups and organizations have taken notice of the program as well.

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