MIDLOTHIAN — Midlothian ISD Education Foundation has launched a campaign to win a $10,000 Pepsi Refresh Project grant to fund a weeklong summer math boot camp for MISD second- and seventh-grade students.

The grant idea will provide at least 20 students from each of MISD’s six elementary schools and 25-30 students from each middle school with the opportunity to receive hands-on, individual and small group math instruction. The camp will also introduce third- and eighth-grade math lessons to bridge the gap in learning.

“This boot camp could really help students who are struggling with math,” foundation executive director Kristin Zastoupil said. “It will help students brush up on math skills and prepare for advancing to the next grade level.”

The foundation’s idea was ranked 84th in the $10,000 tier as of press time. Everyone is asked to vote three times a day from now until Nov. 30 at www.refresheverything.com/misdmathbootcamp#. Voters are required to sign in through a Facebook account or create a free account with Pepsi Refresh.

Voting by text messaging is also available. To vote from a mobile phone, text 108374 to PEPSI (73774).

Voters can also earn extra “power votes” by buying Pepsi bottles or multi-packs. The top 15 ideas in the $10,000 tier will receive grant money.

 “The math boot camp will choose five subject areas that students need the most help in and focus on one of those areas each day,” Zastoupil said. “The ratio of teacher to students will be about 5:1, but we will also have some middle and high school students serving as teaching aids to earn community service hours. That will cut the ratio down even more.”

The math boot camp will use a new math education technique called Singapore Math, which MISD teachers  learned through a grant program last year.

“Singapore Math started in Singapore and their philosophy is to educate students using concrete manipulatives and pictorials,” elementary curriculum coordinator Karena Blackwell said. “Our teachers were trained last year by Singapore Math and we wanted to implement the new techniques. They’re proven to improve students scores on the state standardized tests.”

As curriculum coordinator, Blackwell wrote the curriculum portion of the grant submitted to Pepsi with the help of second-, fifth- and eighth-grade teachers.

“MEF had never tried to get a corporate grant before and we saw this as an untapped resource,” Zastoupil said. “We talked with the curriculum department at MISD and asked them what program they wanted to fund with this grant, and they came up with the math boot camp.”

The foundation supports educational programs for students and staff by providing funds for educational programs and activities that have underfunded or not funded because of budgetary constraints.

For more information about the foundation, visit www.misdef.org or call 972-775-8296, ext. 1281. To vote for the foundation’s idea, visit www.refresheverything.com/misdmathbootcamp#.

Contact Aaron at 469-517-1456 or a.schwaderer@wninews.com.