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March Math Madness Multiplies Among Sleepy Hollow Kids

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – If you want to get kids to learn math on a Saturday morning, the organizers of a learning program at Washington Irving Intermediate say: make it a game.

More than 60 students took part in Saturday’s March Math Madness program at Washington Irving Intermediate to improve their math skills by playing games with their friends and fellow students.

“They're using math to play all the games, but we didn't say you're coming here to do math facts,” said David Nielsen, president of the Elementary Parent-Teacher Association.

The math program includes kids in grades three through five. Washington Irving teachers, as well as student volunteers from Sleepy Hollow High School and the EF School, spent the morning helping kids master and improve their basic math skills.

The program will continue on March 10 and 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at the school. Nearly 80 students have signed up for next Saturday's program, but Nielsen notes that any Washington Irvington student can attend.

Nielsen said the program was sponsored by the District Task Force of the Tarrytowns, which was created in response to "needs improvement" ratings by the state. Nielsen notes that school officials identified basic math facts as an area that could be improved.

“Some kids, it takes them 30 seconds to 6-times-7,” he said. “You should be able to get that in two or three seconds. These tests are timed tests and that's that much time they can't do other questions or work on the actual logic of the question.”

Washington Irving Principal Debbie Hand said she thought the program was an excellent opportunity for the students to practice their math skills in a fun way.

“The kids are definitely enjoying it,” she said. “I think there's a lot of excitement, a lot of energy and they're very appreciative of the parents and the teachers and the volunteers that came in to help us.”

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