Students in Grades 4-8 Invited to Take Part in Motivational “TiViTz Tuesdays” Program Feb. 4- April 22 in Preparation for Tournament Play
COCOA, FLA. (Feb. 11, 2014) – Last week, it was “game on” for some serious Tampa Bay area competitors. Although last week also marked the start of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, these young people are sharpening pencils, not ice skates.
Tuesday, Feb. 4 marked the start of TiViTz Tuesdays — a 12-week educational program designed to promote STEM education and to motivate fourth through eighth grade students to excel at math.
Each Tuesday through April 22, fourth through eighth grade students from 13 counties* in the Tampa Bay area are invited to participating McDonald’s restaurants after school, anytime between 2:30 and 5 p.m. (times may vary depending on location and school schedule), to play the math and strategy board game, TiViTz. As well as competing against friends and classmates, kids are encouraged to challenge students from other schools in order to strengthen their game-play and learn new strategies. *TiViTz Tuesdays takes place at participating McDonald’s restaurants in Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter counties.
“McDonald’s is dedicated to supporting our local communities, whether it’s hosting school tours or providing a safe and fun gathering place for an afterschool program,” said Blake Casper, Owner/Operator, a McDonald’s owner/operator organization based in Tampa. “We see this partnership with TiViTz as a unique opportunity to take a more active role in the education of children in our communities and are excited to be a part of this endeavor.”
To participate in TiViTz Tuesdays, each student must be registered weekly by a parent or teacher at www.tivitz.com. Attendance at TiViTz Tuesdays is free, but students and/or teachers are encouraged to bring their own game to ensure they’re always ready to play. Games may be purchased online at www.tivitz.com for $30 plus tax, shipping and handling.
The 12-week TiViTz Tuesdays program culminates with regional and championship TiViTz tournaments in May and June. Tournament winners will take home trophies and prizes, while four championship winners, one per grade four through eight, will share $15,000 in college scholarships.
TiViTz has been used as part of the mathematics curriculum by more than 10,000 teachers and 400,000 students across the country, including schools in Hillsborough County. The most popular version of the game, Ripken Baseball TiViTz, created in partnership with Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., is the backbone of the comprehensive educational program.
The board game is “a natural fit” in the new Common Core state standards in at least nine areas, attests former Hillsborough County math supervisor, Janet Bauman. She helped introduce TiViTz last fall to the Florida Association of Math Supervisors as well as the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics, where it was well received by both groups.
Teachers agree that TiViTz works. “The students who are playing and are interested in TiViTz, they see the value in getting the math correct,” said Joe Ratasky, math resource teacher at Foster Elementary in Tampa. “The kids who are in TiViTz (clubs) and are doing well at it, you see them at the top of the class.”
Perhaps most importantly, kids see the value in excelling at TiViTz. “In the beginning, when I first started doing math, it was a little hard for me,” said 10-year-old Ellijah Reyes. “But once I… found out about TiViTz, I started doing it and it got easier for me because I could practice my math skills.”
ABOUT STEM: STEM has become a common acronym, particularly among policy advocates and government officials, for the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.A STEM-literate student is not only an innovator and critical thinker, but is able to make meaningful connections between school, community, work and global issues. STEM skills are increasingly necessary to engage in a knowledge-based economy. There is solid evidence to suggest that the fastest-growing and highest-wage jobs in future years will be in STEM fields and all employees will need to utilize STEM skills for problem solving in a wide range of industries.
ABOUT TiViTz: TiViTz® is a registered trademark of SAS Games, Inc. Based in Cocoa, Fla., the company is led by CEO Siobhan Mullen, a former aerospace executive, in partnership with TiViTz creator, Stephen Scully. Encouraging students of all ages to: “Improve Your Game, Improve Your Mind,” SAS Games produces the popular TiViTz board game as well as 2D and 3D online versions at tivitz.com. The game has won multiple awards in the toy and game industry, including Dr. Toy, National Parenting Center, Creative Child and Parents’ Choice.
TiViTz is not only a favorite of school districts, youth sports leagues, afterschool clubs, and of course, discerning parents and kids, it is also endorsed by several celebrity spokespersons, most notably, Hall of Famer and former Baltimore Orioles’ Shortstop, Cal Ripken Jr. TiViTz Live Action Tournaments have been sponsored and/or hosted by Ripken Baseball, McDonald’s®/Caspers Company in Tampa, Fla., Busch Gardens Tampa, NASA/Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the Schwarzenegger Youth Foundation, national science museums, the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks, and Minor and Major League Baseball Teams including the Yankees, Dodgers, Tigers, Rangers, Devil Rays and Tampa Bay Rays.
About McDonald's: McDonald’s USA, LLC, is the leading foodservice provider in the United States serving a variety of wholesome food made from quality ingredients to more than 26 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local business men and women. Customers can now log online for free at any of the more than 12,000 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter (@McDonalds) and Facebook (Facebook.com/McDonalds) for updates on our business, promotions and products.
For more information on your Tampa Bay McDonald’s, visit www.mcstate.com, or follow us on Twitter (@McDTampaBay) and Facebook (Facebook.com/McDonalds) for updates on our business, promotions and menu items.
Nancy Summers, Marketing Manager
For more information: