Seeing, Saying, and Succeeding with Math.

Samirian Hill, Moneywise Teacher on Math and Money for Kids via Parenting

Our guest expert:

Samirian Hill, The MoneyWise Teacher, is President and Founder of BudgetWise Financial Solutions, LLC, a financial education and consulting firm, where they teach people to manage money wisely.  

Why is financial literacy important to you? Who is your target audience?

My passion for financial literacy stems from my background and experience. Over the past 16 years, I have had the opportunity to work with individuals with their finances. In general, what I noticed is that many people were uncomfortable around the subject of money, mostly due to the lack of understanding. 

Personal finance was not taught in schools, so most of our money management skills and behavior were primarily learned at home, and very little was shared there.  

Fast forward 10 years, information and resources are more readily available, but the challenges still remain. Financial literacy is important to me because I want to see us collectively move beyond money issues and cycles in order to live out our full potential as individuals, families, and even as a nation. 

My target market is women between the ages of 35 – 55 years old.

What is the impact of “financial illiteracy” on households, communities, globally?

Money is a key contributor to stress, divorces, illnesses, and social ills. Financial illiteracy may not be the leading cause of these issues, but in some cases, how we manage our money plays a significant role. 

Limited knowledge about personal finance concepts, products and services can lead to poor decision making. Repeated bad decisions lead to consequences like, over extended credit, bankruptcy, and foreclosures. The ripple effects are families stressed; communities stagnated, if not declining; and a global economy that is leaving our nation behind. 

The good news is that we can reverse this impact through education and wiser decisions making. As I stated earlier, information and resources are accessible.

What is one of the most important conversations that you have had about math as it relates to financial literacy?  

How did math and financial literacy get separated? 

To me, financial literacy is a conversation about money and money involves math. 

When the government started promoting financial literacy, they focused more on understanding the terminology of products and services, such as, purchasing a house or managing your credit. 

The real conversation precedes these decisions. It begins with, “how much money do I make? How much do I actually bring home? How do I plan to spend it, save it, grow it and give it”?  To be financially literate is to understand how to apply math to everyday life.

Share 3 habits and 3 (tech) tools that parents can practice/utliize to ensure their tweens/teens are financially ready to transition out of the house into the world of college and adulthood.

Good money habits begin at home. 3 tips for parents are:
  • Teach your children how to save money at an early age.
  • Engage your children in money transactions. For younger children, you can get them engage at the grocery store, while teenagers can participate in a large purchasing decision.  
  • Talk about money with your children.  

These 3 websites are great resources for kids/teens and parents.  

You host a book club for adults. What are your thoughts about a book club for youth focused on financial education?
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POWER Org Math Launches Global Math Initiative in South Africa

On March 29, 2014, we launched our "Global Math Initiative (GMI): To enhance academic and cultural experiences with STEM" in South Africa.


Our Founder and Executive Director, LaToniya A. Jones, has been in the Limpopo Province collaborating with Mr. Munienge Mbolia and the Science Foundations department at the University of Venda (UNIVEN) to prepare for the POWER Org Math - South Africa GMI launch, Math Clubs and special Math Affairs since Sunday, March 23, 2014.

100 learners in grades 10-11 worked collaboratively to build bridges, rotate to small group sessions for introductions to binary coding, html language, tossing balls to simplify radical expressions and factorization (factorisation), graphing and geometry bingo, French, and more during the What's the Math in This? mini-conference. Sessions were led by Senior Math Ambassadors and UNIVEN lecturers.

The initial 6 months of the GMI for POWER Org Math - South Africa will be hosted in the Milton Mpfumedzeni Secondary School for learners (students) in grades 10-12. The school is located in the Limpopo Province (Lukalo Village, near Thohoyandou). We have already received notice about others who are interested in this experience for their learners.

Honors and first year (foundation level) students at UNIVEN will serve as Senior Math Ambassadors. Junior Math Ambassadors will consist of a select group of high achieving learners from grades 10-12 at the Milton Mpfumedzeni Secondary School. Ambassadors will provide a structured comprehensive set of activities that help to remove math anxiety, build confidence, competence, and help learners work independently to achieve their individual academic goals based on the school's math curriculum.

Mpfumedzeni's POWER Org Math Club will be coordinated onsite by Mr. Lawrence Okwuasi, a secondary math and science educator. They will frequently use technology to exchange their academic experiences, challenges, and culture with our current 10th grade math club in Detroit, Michigan.

Mr. Muvhango, the principal of Milton Mpfumedzeni Secondary School, shared how excited he was to witness and experience some of the most challenged learners having fun while doing math differently. He believes that this new way of learning is beneficial to both the learners and the educators at his school and publicly committed to integrating some of the practices into their school day on Monday, March 31, 2014.  The learners are ready to hold him to it.

We look forward to growing these relationships through our Global Math Initiative and making meaningful academic and cultural connections between USA students and South African learners.

We are building bridges because learning has no boundaries.
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Exploring STEM Careers with Baker College Respiratory Therapy Care Students

Baker College of Auburn Hills Respiratory Therapy program students and directors may have helped families at our 2013 What's the Math in This? Expos to save money, time, and even remove a little math anxiety.

STEM is everywhere!

Families learned about:
1) Ways to identify respiratory problems.

2) Coursework and career options for respiratory therapists.

3) Money saving tips for keeping their equipment safe and working efficiently.

4) The importance of RATIOS and METRIC CONVERSIONS when calculating the correct amount of oxygen/medication.

5) The role of LOGICAL REASONING when investingating and caring for patients.

Additional basic practical math skills used by respiratory therapists involve EQUATIONS/FORMULAS, FRACTIONS (conversions, + - * / ) , DECIMALS (conversions, + - * / ), and PERCENTS.

We believe our families realize that math is everywhere! They are prepared to search for it and act on it as needed.

Want to take a peek at some of the equations that respiratory therapy students use to prepare for their careers?

These flashcards are useful! Believe it or not...those same study skills that are practiced to remember a lot of content is very useful in college level course work as well.

POWER Org What's the Math Expos are gender-focused experiences to help youth: explore careers with professionals and college students, decrease their math anxiety, and engage in meaningful activities that will help them succeed academically and in life.

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Author Yvelette Stines is on a Mission with Healthy Snacks with Vernon the Vegetable

Vernon the Vegetable Man Smoothie Station

It was a wonderful fall day at the Boys and Girls Club in Royal Oak. P.O.W.E.R. Org was hosting their annual Math Expo.

This particular weekend it was for the Girls. Starting with an empowering introduction to start off the Expo, 50-80 girls participated in a number of math activities throughout the day.

There were also activities about life, career, as well as health and wellness. I had the honor of sharing some smoothies with the participants.

Upon entering my station many of the girls gave the green smoothie a wonderful and adorable questionable stare. With mixed emotions of excitement, curiosity, and hesitation the girls gave the smoothies a chance and ended up loving the samples and returning for more.

The station was interactive. The girls had an opportunity to make the smoothie for others to try. My station explained the importance of healthy eating and developing healthy lifestyle habits. We also talked about recipes, the benefits of incorporating fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as my book Vernon the Vegetable Man.

The girls really loved the smoothies and a few asked if I could make them some to take home. The P.O.W.E.R. Org Math Conference was a wonderful event. This organization is impacting children, families, and the community in a positive way.

Brain Power Smoothie

2 cups spinach, fresh

1 cup strawberries

1 cup blueberries

2 bananas

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed

Try it. You might like it.

Our guest post is by Yvelette Stines.

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Engineering Design with Scott Richardson of Project Stratocube

With some paper, some tape, a marker, and a couple of tables, I had thirty minutes to set up a display that would talk about measurement and testing in math and science.  The basketball game ...
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How is math involved in rollercoasters? That's Physics.

What a simple way to see how math is involved in rollercoasters!

Yes, it's an equation. A formula is an equation. ...
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Mathematical Monday Minute: 3 Reasons to Learn How to Convert Decimals to Radical Number

Consider these reasons for converting decimals to a radical number

1) Understanding how to check your work/answer 

2) Quickly identifying if the possible solutions in a multiple choice question ...
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Is Harvard algebra of 1869 much different than today's problems

Algebra has obviously been around for a while.

Are we really solving new math today?

Chances are ...
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I Love My Kids with Math at Mount Clemens Community Schools

Our mission to change attitudes, anxiety, and achievement levels continue...

We ...
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There is something special about seeing students "rise" to new energy levels---with math!

There is something special about seeing students "rise" to new energy levels---with math!

After a quick review, our Klub DEX students took what ...
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P.O.WE.R. Organization is an educational 501c3 organization that was founded by LaToniya A. Jones (mom, educator, administrator), in December 2004. Our goal is to make sure that the young people (and families) we serve have adequate exposure and an opportunity to explore and find their own affinities. This blog highlights some of our work, features STEM Pros, hosts Math Monday Minutes (quick tips), and ignites convo about hot topics in education and STEM.


April 2014

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Join POWER Org Math for our 12 day journey to South Africa as we launch -POWER South Africa (March 22-April 1, 2014). Join us on Google+, Facebook, Youtube, and and Twittter.