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The City Journals

Elk Meadows turns equations into donations for Utah Food Bank

May 08, 2018 01:08PM ● By Julie Slama

Elk Meadows top students who donated points to the Utah Food Bank during their Imagine Learning math lessons had the opportunity to present the food bank with a check from the 240 schools statewide. (Aaron Ichimura/Elk Meadows Elementary)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Elk Meadows students recently turned their math equations into a monetary donation for the Utah Food Bank.

Through Imagine Learning, 20,000 students across the state had the opportunity to take part in a monthlong math contest. Of the 240 schools, kindergarten through high school seniors, Elk Meadows completed the most math lessons.

Across the state, 887 classrooms of school children completed 3.7 million complex (story) math problems or 86,000 lessons, said Randy Tingey, Imagine Learning customer success manager.

“It’s an impressive 31,500 hours of math,” he said, adding that each lesson varied in length but typically could be completed within 30 minutes.

Through the program, students supplement math curriculum to meet their individual needs. It is designed to help students develop their math foundations and conceptional understanding so they are receiving the challenge they need, Tingey said.

As incentives, when students complete the lesson, they receive “think points,” which they can “spend” on their avatars or fun math games.

During the contest in November, Imagine Learning also added another option — they could donate their points toward the Utah Food Bank. At Elk Meadows, students donated 125,000 points to give $25 of Jordan School District’s $112 toward the Utah Food Bank.

Sixth-grade students Isaac Allen, Hayden Song, Banks Love and Aspen Lindorf were recognized at a school assembly in late March for contributing 10,000 points each; Rhett Dawson for 15,000; David Spallino for 20,000; and Brody Bell for 25,000 points. They, in turn, were asked to present the Utah Food Bank with a check for $2,500, which represents the amount of points converted to dollars from school children across the state.

Utah Food Bank Chief Development Officer Ginette Bott said this contribution helps with their mission to feed those in need across the state.

“Utah Food Bank is incredibly grateful for the support of Imagine Learning Do Math! and we are inspired by the hard work these children put in to this accomplishment,” Bott said. “This donation will provide over 9,000 meals to Utahns facing hunger and will truly impact the one in six Utah children facing hunger.” 

Tingey said that Imagine Learning selected the recipient.

“The Utah Food Bank was selected so the students could make an impact on their community,” he said.

Principal Aaron Ichimura said he was glad the students got recognized.

“I think it sends a positive message to our students that these kids opted to do something kind for their community by paying it forward with their points to get food donations for those who need it,” he said. “The students were very enthusiastic to work toward their goals, and by presenting this check, it is rewarding them for what achieved.”