This post comes to us from Martha Renken, one of our Education & Development Program Coordinators. Martha manages programs as varied as Read-With-Me, Students on Stage, Healthy Start, Eco-Art, School News and Math + Science Club.

Most of us can probably recall the grueling chore of learning our times tables in elementary school. No matter how much teachers tried to make math fun—Around the World and Mad Minute games, prizes, you name it—the task of memorizing the entire multiplication table felt exhausting. We can probably also recall, however, how much finally memorizing these tables helped us move forward in math; from multiplying double digits and fractions to studying algebra, we never could have learned the lessons to come without knowing that 5 times 5 is 25.

Students at Marillac Social Center in East Garfield Park receive after school tutoring, but the tutoring program’s director notices that they struggle to move ahead in the subject of math because they have not yet mastered multiplication tables. Through Chicago Cares’ new Math + Science Club program at Marillac Social Center, students and volunteers will engage in hand-on experiments and activities, as well as incorporate the use of flashcards and games to encourage retention of vocabulary and times tables.
Alternating weeks with Math + Science Club is Read-with-Me, where students will have the opportunity to read with a volunteer before completing a creative craft activity that relates to that week’s book. Students will be exposed to a variety of authors and themes, and they will be encouraged to connect to the text and brainstorm during the creative process as they participate in the art activity.
Marillac Social Center is a non-profit organization providing early childhood education, teen mentoring, family support services, and companionship and assistance to the elderly. Mark your calendar for October 13 when Math + Science Club at Marillac will launch, followed by the launch of Read-with-Me on October 20. Marillac House is accessible by the Green Line just a few miles outside the Loop. Join Chicago Cares on Wednesday evenings and enhance a child’s education at Marillac Social Center.