Benedum Foundation Makes $150,000 Grant to Support Reasoning Mind in West Virginia

May 9, 2017

A group of students learns math on computers in a West Virginia classroom.

A grant to the West Virginia Regional Education Centers will provide Reasoning Mind’s new early learning program to over 3,000 students in 2017-2018.

DUNBAR, WV—The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, an independent charitable foundation serving communities in West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania, has approved a $150,000 grant to fund an innovative early math program throughout six counties in West Virginia. The program, called Blueprint, is produced by award-winning nonprofit Reasoning Mind, and delivers engaging, online math lessons for pre-kindergarten through first-grade students. The grant will be made directly to the West Virginia Regional Education Center 3 (RESA 3) and will cover implementation and program costs for over 3,000 students to use the Blueprint program during the 2017-2018 school year.

“As STEM has been one of our area of focus for RESA 3, we are excited to offer this opportunity to our younger grade levels to ensure the proper foundational skills that enhance STEM education,” said Kelly Watts, Executive Director of RESA 3.

Reasoning Mind began implementing its online math programs—which include teacher support and professional development—in two West Virginia schools in 2011 thanks to support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since that time, Reasoning Mind has expanded its presence to over sixty campuses across the state. A report from SRI International, a premier research organization, recently detailed the effectiveness of Reasoning Mind’s implementation best practices in West Virginia.

Blueprint is Reasoning Mind’s newest program, and is designed to engage young learners while building the skills and knowledge essential to future success in math. Students using Blueprint develop conceptual knowledge of math through a series of animated lessons, songs, exercises, and explanations.

High quality early education has long-term benefits for at-risk students, including improved graduation rates, college attendance, and employment opportunities. Early math skills are especially important, and are actually the single greatest predictor of later academic success at both the third and fifth grade.

“This grant is going to jumpstart the math education of thousands of West Virginia’s youngest learners, and provide teachers with 21st century instructional tools,” said Audrey Pitonak-Goff, Regional Manager for Reasoning Mind in West Virginia. “We are grateful to the Benedum Foundation for its support and the RESA’s for their collaboration, and can’t wait to begin implementing Blueprint with our school partners this fall.”

About Reasoning Mind

Reasoning Mind is a 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to providing a first-rate math education for every child. The organization designs interactive, online mathematics programs for students that develop higher-order thinking skills, ignite their interest in math, and prepare them for algebra—the “gatekeeper” course to college. In addition, Reasoning Mind offers ongoing professional development, training, and in-person support for teachers and administrators using its programs. With Reasoning Mind, students are engaged, teachers are empowered, and technology is leveraged to provide a world-class mathematics education.

About RESAs

The West Virginia Board of Education established multi-county Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs) in 1972 as the regional units in the state school system to provide for high quality, cost effective education programs and services to students, schools and school systems. As part of a statewide network of RESAs, each RESA is established as a regional public multi-service agency to develop, manage and provide services and/or programs to county school systems. RESAs are recognized individually and collectively as essential administrative agencies responsible for performing a service function(s) to public school districts consistent with the State Board’s commitment to high quality programs and services for all students in a state educational system that is thorough, efficient and performance-based.

About The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

The Benedum Foundation was established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum, natives of West Virginia, as a memorial to their only child, Claude Worthington Benedum, who died in 1918 at the age of 20. The Foundation is a regional foundation focusing primarily on West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania. For more information on the Foundation, please see: www.benedum.org.

Contact:

Derek Hopf
Communications Specialist
Reasoning Mind
+1 214 442 2625
dhopf@reasoningmind.org

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