10-year-old Nijal Cadet tells it like it is.
“Some people don’t like math, but to me I love it, because in math I get to learn new things I never learned before,” he said.
The Liberty City Elementary fifth grader is adding skills at a free math and law camp at Florida International University. That’s where college and high school students come together to help 20 third, fourth, and fifth graders brush up on addition, subtraction, and even get some legal education.
“We use hula hoops,” said Antonio Caldwell, the program’s assistant director, and a former student in it himself. The trick is to make things fun so kids play games and use props without realizing they’re learning math skills.
The goal is to help the kids attend a four-year university one day, Caldwell said.
Program leaders selected students who have struggled with math, and come from needy families.
Nijal Cadet and his classmates will spend an hour and 45 minutes in a math lesson each day, then get a civics lesson for an hour and ten minutes.
That works well for Nijal, who wants to be a police officer or a lawyer someday.
“When you learn new things, it’s better than staying home and watching TV,” he said.
The program is part of The Young People’s Project, and Dean Michelle Mason says the university is looking for funds to keep it going next summer.
If you'd like to make a donation, you can contact Dean Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org.