Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Saint Leo University students reach out to Pasco kids

Students from local elementary schools go to college on Thursday evenings courtesy of an educational outreach program called Math Circles held at Saint Leo University.  In the foreground, from left, are Kara Gunn, 6, Sevana Gunn, 11, Madison Gunn, 9, and Zsofia Vo, 8.

Courtesy of Jo-Ann Johnston, Saint Leo University

Students from local elementary schools go to college on Thursday evenings courtesy of an educational outreach program called Math Circles held at Saint Leo University. In the foreground, from left, are Kara Gunn, 6, Sevana Gunn, 11, Madison Gunn, 9, and Zsofia Vo, 8.

ST. LEO

Zsofia Vo knows the secret to the Math Circles program at Saint Leo University. "They trick you into learning math," said Zsofia, 8, a student at Academy at the Lakes in Land O'Lakes. "They make it fun."

That's the objective of the Saint Leo outreach education program.

"We have outreach programs that bring school children to campus, and we have outreach where professors and students go to schools," said Jo-Ann Johnston, academic communications manager at Saint Leo. "There's lots of interaction ... these events also plant in the minds of little ones the possibility of college when such an aspiration might not have even occurred before."

Recently, 20 elementary and middle school students gathered to count jelly beans for a weekly program called Math Circles, which takes place at 5:30 p.m. each Thursday at the college's Lewis Hall.

"There is no homework here," said Monika Kiss, associate professor of mathematics and administrator of the Math Circles program. "This is not like school."

Some activities include building and flying tetrahedron kites, playing the board game Sequence or making a molecular model. During the jelly bean activity, they measured a jar filled with the candy and made an educated guess, then saw how accurate that guess was after counting — and then eating — the jelly beans.

"They're teaching us to love math here," said Esmeralda Perez-Arita, 12, who attends with her brother, Marcos Perez-Arita, 9.

Mom Karla Arita says Math Circles invites students to "eat, visualize, taste and experience."

"As a parent I love this kind of program for young children," she said. "It creates a fun learning environment for them."

The university also hosts mathematics competitions and regular visits from youngsters from Woodland Elementary and Lacoochee Boys and Girls Club. In April, the school will present a Careers in Writing and Journalism program to Cox Elementary students at the campus. The school also collaborates with the Rotary Club of San Antonio to host back-to-school events for children from Farmworkers Self-Help.

University instructors and students also work with students on a biology unit to repair damaged coral reefs with students at James Irvin Education Center in Dade City. Another outreach program concentrates on health and wellness.

Saint Leo freshman health and wellness students meet weekly with students in Dr. Jose H. Olmo's leadership class at Irvin, covering topics like nutrition, exercise, stress, drugs and self-esteem.

"We're getting these students back to the basics and we're building relationships," Olmo said.

And Saint Leo students are learning about public speaking and student interaction.

"We have to find a way to get these kids engaged to show how these health and wellness issues pertain to their lives," said Ryan Delieto, 19, a sophomore.

"Our students enjoy sharing their knowledge," said Veronika Ospina-Kammerer, associate professor and director of BSW field education at Saint Leo. "And the students from James Irvin ask every time, 'Are you coming back again?' "

Saint Leo University students reach out to Pasco kids 03/13/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 14, 2014 5:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Deputies: Tampa man killed after car strikes tree

    Accidents

    TOWN 'N COUNTRY — A 24-year-old man was killed early Sunday after he lost control of his car, causing it to hit a pine tree.

  2. O.J. Simpson had a 'conflict-free life'? Not really, not in Florida

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — When O.J. Simpson told a Nevada parole board last week that he's led a "conflict-free life," he seemed to overlook a few episodes that had him cycling in and out of courtrooms and jail cells for nearly 20 years before the Las Vegas hotel-room heist that sent him to prison in 2008.

    Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson appears via video for his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017.  Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist, successfully making his case in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America's enduring fascination with the former football star.  [The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP]
  3. Baby Charlie protesters to rally as hospital reports threats

    World

    LONDON — Protesters who want critically ill British baby Charlie Gard to receive an experimental medical treatment are planning a rally and prayer vigil Sunday, while hospital officials say emotions are running so high in the heart-breaking case they have received death threats.

    Reverend Patrick Mahoney from Washington DC, centre, speaks to the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, as he joins other Charlie Gard supporters, Sunday July 23, 2017. Protesters who want critically ill British baby Charlie Gard to receive an experimental medical treatment gathered for a rally and prayer vigil Sunday, while hospital officials say emotions are running so high in the heart-breaking case they have received death threats. [Associated Press]