Students race against math illiteracy

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - In recent years, students in Calcasieu Parish have struggled with mathematics, but now school officials are hoping a new and creative idea turns things around.

Calcasieu Parish Dist. 7 School Board Member, Mack Dellafosse, is partnering with T.H. Watkins Elementary in Lake Charles for a new program called "Math Relay."

The concept stays true to its title. Fourth and fifth graders are divided up into different teams and must solve a series of math problems. Once solved, the students run over to another table to "tag" their teammate who must then solve another series of math problems at the other table.

"This is a brain child for me and my wife," said Dellafosse. "We were sitting around just wondering what we could do to motivate kids to do better in math."

On Monday, Dellafosse tried his idea out at T.H. Watkins.

School officials and students were impressed by the excitement the "Math Relay" generated.

"We're grateful for Mr. and Mrs. Dellafosse for doing this for us," said T.H. Watkins Principal Kay Victorian. "It's a wonderful program. I think it gives the children a chance to exercise their math skills."

"I think it's really going to help everyone out with their math," said T.H. Watkins fifth-grader Tanner Citizen.

"I think it's fun and I think it was very easy for me, but maybe not to some people," added Davalyn Edmond, another fifth-grader. "I think it's going to help a lot of people do good on the test."

And that's what school officials are hoping it'll do, improve test scores.

Calcasieu Parish schools will put their skills to the test when they take standardized LEAP tests next week.

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