About the Project
This project is one of the 2012 WISE Awards finalists.
Project SEED is America’s oldest successful supplemental math program. It has been successfully teaching advanced math to low-income elementary school students since 1963, when its Founder, William Johntz, began working with such students to raise their academic achievement and self-confidence.
Context and Issue
Recognizing that algebra is often a barrier to high-school graduation and college enrollment, he developed successful methods for teaching topics from algebra to higher mathematics to young children. Project SEED is a national program, currently serving low-income students and their teachers in California, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, and Washington.
Solution and Impact
Project SEED’s mission for students is to put young, low-income students on a pathway toward high school graduation and successful entry into college and the workforce. By beginning in elementary school, it reaches students before they are caught in a web of failure. Its mission for classroom teachers is to make them aware that conceptual math can and should be learned by young children, and to provide the teachers with techniques for making mathematics enjoyable and understandable. All Project SEED math specialists have majored in mathematics or a math-based science. They teach supplemental lessons to intact classes in schools serving low-income neighborhoods using an interactive, discovery-based question-and-answer approach that helps them learn more effective ways of teaching mathematics.
Over the years independent evaluations have shown that Project SEED improves the mathematics achievement for students in low-performing schools and helps teachers employ more effective teaching techniques. Project SEED was one of the two highest ranking programs in a report to the US Congress science and math intervention programs by a BEST/AIR blue ribbon panel.