BETHLEHEM, PA—First In Math® creator Robert Sun visited Calypso Elementary and spoke with a crowd of more than 180 guests at the school’s Family Math Night on February 28. Pre-K through fifth-grade students and their parents, grandparents and siblings listened intently as Sun told them how math played an integral role in his unconventional journey to success.
Inventor Robert Sun shared graphics of the new First In Math VIFs™ module, as well as personal photos, that help explain his journey to success.
Sun emigrated from China to West Philadelphia at age nine. One of four children being raised by a single parent, he struggled to learn English, but eventually connected to others through math.
Sun would go on to earn an Engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania, but decided his true calling was to help students succeed in math. He invented the 24® Game in 1988, debuted the First In Math® Online Program in 2002, and has now introduced an addition to the First In Math arsenal—the Very Important Facts™ (VIFs™) System—to provide students with a strong base of knowledge in foundational math skills.
After Sun spoke, students were given the opportunity to go to different tables—each table had games for them to play that were grade appropriate, including some from the 24® Game series. Student volunteers from Moravian College were stationed at the tables to help everything run smoothly.
Students could also go into the library to use Chromebooks and play First In Math, where FIM Project Coordinator Nancy Kane worked with students, parents and grandparents. “I had fun teaching families how to log in to First In Math at home,” says Kane. “At the end of the night, each family was given a 24® Game Anniversary Edition and a 24® Game bookmark to tie into Calypso’s Family Reading Night.”
Kane enjoyed the Reading Night posters of the children’s favorite stories displayed throughout the school. “They were very creative, well thought out and very artistic, clearly a lot of effort was put into them. It brought back memories of when my boys were young and were reading some of the same titles.”
According to Principal Kathy Bast, Calypso is the smallest school in the Bethlehem Area School District. It is truly a neighborhood school and retains a great sense of community. “We understand that it makes for a long day when we hold this type of event in the evening, but it demonstrates how truly dedicated our families are, and how important their child’s education is to them.” Bast’s own daughter attends Palmer Elementary, but joined her mom after school so she could meet Sun.
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