ST. CLOUD (WJON News) - After meeting with early childhood educators, a math professor at St. Cloud State University has developed a first-of-its-kind library of activity kits to promote learning math concepts at home.

Dr. Melissa Hanzsek-Brill created a line of kits called PACCAT, or Parents and Children Counting A Lot Together, in cooperation with the St. Cloud Area School District.

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PACCAT uses math activity kits that are sent home on a weekly basis to encourage math activities at home, much like the PACRAT reading program that already exists. There are between 25 and 45 kits in each set that focus on different activities to appeal to each child’s interests. Children can check out a kit much like they would check out a library book.

If you've ever met three and four year olds, they're very excited about just about everything. It really depends on the child; some children will gravitate more toward the book related activities (while) others are much more excited about the creative activities, like making shapes with pipe cleaners and count the number of sides of the shape they've made.

Each activity kit is available in three languages (English, Spanish, and Somali), and includes instructions, pictures, and QR codes to related videos so parents can help their children learn basic math skills.

Hanszek-Brill says public school systems have done a great job teaching students to read and be able to explain what they’ve read to someone else. The PACCAT program hopes to be able to duplicate that success with basic math skills.

The pilot program with the St. Cloud Area School District is focused on early childhood and kindergarten students, but there has been substantial interest from other districts and plans to create new kits for students in elementary school.

PACCAT in the words of the developer:

Listen to WJON's Interview with Dr. Melissa Hanszek-Brill Here!

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