Students Gaining Confidence with Math & Reading Assistance

Mallory Lantzer has been a Math Interventionist at Westridge Elementary for nine years. She also is the co-chair of her Student Assistance Team, and leads PAWS (People At Westridge Succeed), an after-school Math Assistance Program funded by the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation.

Westridge‘s PAWS Program meets after school to review grade-level content and practice skills that are challenging.

According to Lantzer, one of the biggest challenges that teachers face in the classroom is feeling like they don’t have enough time to effectively meet the needs of every individual student. “PAWS helps us spend more time with the students that need our support the most,” she said.

Kindergarten through fifth grade students that attend PAWS spend an extra 30 minutes after school three days a week in small groups reviewing grade level content, practicing skills that are challenging for them, and gaining confidence in their math abilities. PAWS provided additional support to more than 60 students last year alone.

“Some people might think that students wouldn’t want to stay after school to practice math, but for most kids, quite the opposite is true,” said Lantzer.

“Our students love the opportunity to work in a small group with their teachers and peers. They enjoy the more individualized attention from their teachers, and they are willing to ask questions, and share their thinking out loud. Something that most of them aren’t confident enough to do in a whole-class setting.”

Lantzer said that the increase in confidence that she sees in her students after they attend PAWS is what makes the program so rewarding. “Our data shows that attending our after school math program has a huge impact on our students’ level of achievement in the classroom on a daily basis, as well as on District and state assessments,” she said.

PAWS is just one of many math and reading assistance groups that are funded by the Foundation. In the 2021-2022 school year, over 400 elementary students in the Elkhorn Public Schools District needed additional instruction in math and reading. Our annual Bids For Kids event is the main fundraiser for our Math & Reading Assistance Program. This year, the event raised $74,000, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, donors, attendees, and auction participants.

If you are interested in making a contribution to our Math & Reading Assistance Program, please visit our online donation form or contact the Foundation office at (402) 289.1727.

Our elementary schools are always looking for additional staff to lead Math & Reading Assistance groups before or after school as the need for them continues to increase. If you are an Elkhorn Public Schools staff member and are interested in leading a group, please contact your building principal.