YPP 2016 Annual Report

YPP 2016 Annual Report

Since July, YPP has been celebrating 20 years of working for social change in our education system by teaching math literacy and coding skills. We are embracing our past and the ground upon which we stand, and how it has prepared us for a future of continued growth and success. We are motivated for the years to come and invite you to join us through your continued support, to help move us forward into our next 20 years.


2016 Mission-Based Progress and Highlights. In 2016, YPP employed 15 CMLW and 53 MLWs. MLWs from Greater Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, New York and San Francisco provided math based workshops for more than 320 2nd-8th graders both in school and out of school.

Mississippi - This year YPP-MS has played a supporting role for our work in Atlanta, including a new initiative to pilot integrated math and computer science activities in the classroom. This work is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to Kennesaw State University and The Algebra Project (#1651092) titled Incorporating Computer Programming into Middle School Math Curricula to Enhance Learning for Low Performing Underserved Students. (For more information see below).

“One of my best moments in YPP was getting to learn new things. For example, I got to learn about how to lead a group, I learned how to speak out and not be afraid. I also got to meet new people , I got to listen to their ideas and everyone tried to respect each other. Being involved made me feel better because I feel like I became someone better because I was better at public speaking.I can take control and manage of what I’m doing. It makes me feel important.” -YPP MLW

Greater BostonIt has been an honor to work with Kessen Green, YPP-GB Director, for the past 6 years. As Kessen transitions to his new job with the City of Cambridge, we welcome the enthusiasm of Shauna Swindell and Cliff Freeman as they take responsibility for leading the work and strengthening the YPP-GB site. YPP programs in Greater Boston continue to be successful in our 4 core partnership schools: the Higginson Lewis K-8 school, the Mason Elementary School, and the Dudley Street Charter School in Boston, and the Fletcher Maynard Academy in Cambridge. This year we had the opportunity to work with teachers from the MA Department of Youth Services. College Math Literacy Worker, Yvelene Logiste, shared that one of her highlights from the year wasfacilitating a workshop on Flagway for these teachers.

“The best moment that I had in the young people project is that when we learned all the games and we discussed about the outside world. It [Being involved with YPP] makes me feel part of the community and helpful to others.” -YPP MLW

ChicagoYPP has allowed teens from all over the city of Chicago to come together in one room and share an unparalleled experience that is unique to YPP. In addition to the math curriculum, MLWs are also engaged in college-related workshops in which they explore career pathways and develop their thoughts about college. During the past year we have managed to successfully steer our Math Literacy Workers (MLWs) in positive directions by inviting professionals from all areas of the workforce to come and share their experience about going to college or entering the workforce. Our students benefit from being exposed to everyday people to whom they can relate. Topics include but are not limited to: college, military, trade school, and even internships with other programs such as InSTEM, that serve teens in Chicago in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Furthermore, we have been able to offer workshops that help students build resumes’, set up professional emails and voicemails as well as practice with mock interviews. The Chicago YPP Lead Instructor, Yoseph Coffee, shared some reflections about his work: “In closing the program is more than a job for me or something to pass the time, but it

is a tool to give back to the community similar to the one that I came from. Our teens and students are proof that our program is doing the deed that it was created to do. We are reaching kids of all ages and giving them positive reinforcement. This program has the ability to change lives but more importantly save lives. I am justified knowing that there is a program that will give our young men and women a safe place.”

“One of my best moments in YPP was when we went to the school to meet the students and played Ice Breakers. The students were cool. Being involved with YPP made me feel like a leader. Being able to instruct other kids with math and leading them through ice breakers. I had a challenge when we were working with prime numbers and I never really took that area of my work serious. So I had to catch back up by studying prime numbers.” -YPP MLW

San Francisco - YPP San Francisco is in its third full year of implementation and has been funded through a generous grant from the city’s Department of Children, Youth, & their Families (DCYF). In the Fall of 2016 YPP SF was able to work with 17 June Jordan School for Equity youth (12 who finished the full semester) and over 40 San Francisco Community (SFC) elementary students. JJSE MLWs learned to pass on their math knowledge by facilitating weekly Thursday workshops for 4th and 5th grade students in their after school program. The SFC elementary students loved working on the Flagway Game and had a great time bonding with the JJSE MLWs. In keeping with the goals of the DCYF grant, JJSE YPP is working to build math literacy as well as providing a safe space for our youth to be academically engaged and employed. YPP San Francisco will continue this work into the Spring 2017 semester working with another local elementary school to have JJSE MLWs facilitate more math literacy workshops.

“A best moment was when I got to meet new people. It was great because the people and I had so much in common. If it wasn’t for this program we probably would have never met each other. Being involved has helped me become a better person from multiple aspects. First, it gave me an option to help find a career and something to pursue in college. It also helped me become better with working with different people.” -YPP MLW

New York City - YPP, in partnership with Strycker’s Bay Neighborhood Council and The DOME Project, has created a NYC math literacy hub for The West Side Commons on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Through the partnership, The Commons creates a pipeline for math literacy programming for 3rd grade elementary school students who will follow the YPP curriculum in each grade thereafter through to high school; they will then become Math Literacy Workers and further develop their understanding of math while building leadership skills and workplace experience. This year marks the first transition of a Math Literacy Worker to the College Math Literacy Worker position, a success for our overall goals with the program. The partnership allows for connecting a community that already has programming in place for college readiness, job training, SAT prep, and cultural activities with a much needed Math and Social Justice component through the YPP curriculum. Working with an entire community dedicated to serving its children will help spread YPP culture and the effectiveness of our outcomes. This collaboration began in 2012 and we are excited to continue to implement more training, staff, and curriculum to help consistently meet our shared goals.

“When I first came here they was so polite and nice. It couldn’t have been any better than this. I love this whole class and everything about it, it’s fun and enjoyable. I don’t have any bad moments at this time, because everything was perfect. We had our ups and downs but there wasn’t no fighting. Everybody got along and things went well. It make me feel welcomed and appreciated I never really felt welcomed no where but when I came here it was amazing I was so welcomed. I would have to come back next year. We play a lot of games here and we have fun learning about them and each other, and learn with each other. I was trying to figure out prime and composite numbers. I never learned it so it was hard to know what it was. I studied and learned them, then I did good and learned it. This was a great time I will come back next time.” -YPP MLW

Atlanta, GA - AP/YPP continues with its partnership with Atlanta Public Schools (APS) to create learning environments that support mathematical literacy and educational equity. Key accomplishments include hosting a successful Summer Induction June 1-June 31 during the months of APS summer school. During the 2016-2017 school year, on any given school day, 8 Atlanta Math Workers, college students who have been trained by YPP and the Algebra Project, are working with over one hundred students in their math connections and math classrooms across the following middle school sites: Brown, Bunche, Harper Archer, and Long. This year, we entered into a cost share partnership with Georgia State University’s TEEMS (Technology, Engineering, Environment, Mathematics, and Science) AmeriCorps. This partnership has provided training, support, and resources that align with our mission to serve and be equipped with the leadership skills to enhance the academic and socioemotional development of students. Currently, after School at Harper Archer is being made possible through a collaboration and partnership with Emory University’s Civic and Community Office via the Graduation Generation program and Georgia State University’s After-School All-Stars, a successful national program with Georgia programming that supports after school academic enrichment opportunities. Through this partnership we anticipate working with 24-30 6th-8thgraders, and 6 math literacy workers after school, in addition to the ongoing work during the school day.

“My best moments in YPP are meeting and engaging with the kids. I thought that was really fun. Also I enjoyed the games we played, to be specific I really enjoyed the game called all around the world and screaming toes. The kids enjoyed those too. Being involved in YPP made me feel as if I’m a better person. My attitude changed about a lot of things, I do well in school, I come early, my grades got better, but this program made me look at life differently.” -YPP MLW


This year has been a good year for YPP for working with and building strong relationships with our local and national partners. Below is a list of key projects we have been working on with the Algebra Project, Southern Initiative Algebra Project, Kennesaw State University, and Educational Testing Services.

National Math Festival:The Young People’s Project (YPP) is excited to partner with the festival by leading interactive demonstration of its signature FlagwayTM game, and will host a national FlagwayTMtournamentfor its youth participants from its national sites as well as a team from its Dublin, Ireland affiliate program. The National Math Festival, held in Washington DC on April 2017, will bring together upwards of 20,000 children and adults to celebrate the playfulness, beauty, power, and importance of mathematics in everyday life (http://www.nationalmathfestival.org/).

AP/YPP/SIAP Alliance:Last spring, we submitted two proposals to NSF INCLUDES for activities focused on broadening participation by those underrepresented in STEM education and careers. Both proposals were awarded in November 2016 and will enable our current network and collaborators to work together, from now through June 2017, to develop a national Alliance that will have significant, measurable and national impact on achievement of our goal during the next one to four years. During this process, we are welcoming many new collaborators and are excited about working together.

Our goal: that students in Grades K-12 who now perform in the bottom quartile in mathematics (according to state tests) have the opportunity to graduate from high school able to do college or career mathematics without "remediation.”

NSF DRK-12 research on functions:It involves fundamental work in the assessment of functions, a key mathematical concept, and is focused on assessment of student learning at the late-middle and early high school grade levels. Our goal is to design a learning progression-based assessment centered on the concept of function, and to use the data collected as part of a validation effort. When used as a guide for assessment design, a learning progression (LP) has the potential to support instruction, but only if the sequence and specification of the levels in the progression is empirically supported (through empirical recovery) and the theory can be shown to represent students’ thinking and development through validation in an instructional setting. YPP is a consultant to the Algebra Project and to ETS on this award, and will provide a student and youth perspective on various aspects of the research.

NSF EAGER math and computer science project:This is an experiment to study whether and how certain mathematical concepts can be better understood by low performing students who are taught to program computer simulations that provide them with new ways to explore and engage key aspects of the mathematics. The students will be writing programs for the Android mobile platform using MIT App Inventor and its Open Blocks visual programming language. Using units from the experiential mathematics curriculum developed by the Algebra Project that help students make abstract math ideas more tangible and concrete, this research will add programming activities to these units that are designed to add additional reflective experiences with which to engage, explore and ultimately better understand the mathematics. YPP is a consultant to the Algebra Project and Kennesaw State University, providing curriculum, training, and classroom implementation support for the project.

Fiscal Management:
We are excited to work with a new Audit firm, DavisKelly CPA’s, and look forward to

timely audits that serve to strengthen our fiscal operations.

Fundraising and Development Activities: We held our two annual online fundraising campaigns: theBack to School Campaign, with a net of $6,710, and the Year End Campaign, with a net of $20,099. Thank you to all who donated! We were supported by generous grants from the Barr Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Willow Springs Foundation, Cambridge Community Foundation, CDBG Cambridge, SEIU, TJX Foundation, Eastern Bank, and the Bank of America Foundation among others, as well as the generous support of many individual and sustaining donors!

Measurement and Learning: We were able to work closely with schools and teachers in Greater Boston to have access to data that led to better analysis of growth for YPP participants . Based on report card math grades,in summary, while student gains were modest, the overall trend was positive with at least 75% of YPP students maintaining or increasing their math grade over the course of the year. Finally, we are excited to announce that we have completed the custom Salesforce Platform for Measurement and Learning (outcomes tracking) system for use across all sites and programs and it is ready for roll out.

Media and Communications: We havea new organizational brochure! Highlights from our work with year include: initiating copyrighting and trademarking process for Flagway Games, Materials and YPP Logo with pro-bono support from California-based law firm, Fenwick & West LLP; and working with measurement and learning to build the new Salesforce database. We also compiled our annual Donor and Social Media Report.

Training:National Trainer, Naama Lewis,created three new training modules that incorporated feedback from around the YPP network and piloted some of the materials in face-to face and conducted some pilot tests of video training sessions. She supported the YPP measurement and learning operations by helping to develop and score assessments, and is helping to lead YPP efforts to participate in the National Math Festival (NMF) in April 2017.


2016 has provided YPP with many opportunities to work and grow in partnership with other organizations and schools. We are building relationships to strengthen our work and meet the demands across cities. As the country is undergoing drastic changes and challenges in 2017, YPP too is faced with changes in staff and capacity and is restructuring in order to put a stronger emphasis on sustainability. Our core leadership team is moving the needle forward in using Math Literacy Work to develop the abilities of elementary through high school students to succeed in school and in life. We will persevere!