SHINE for Girls: MATH + DANCE = SUCCESS

SHINE teaches girls, 6-8th grade, math through dance.

A fundraising campaign for Kern Dance Alliance

SHINE is a nationally recognized, innovative, curriculum-based, after-school program for middle school girls. Utilizing kinesthetic learning, SHINE combines formal dance training with rigorous math instruction to improve girls’ math scores and spark their interest in STEM.

MATH+DANCE=SUCCESS covers national math standards from 6th-8th grade, while improving overall girls’ confidence and attitudes towards math through a positive feedback loop, resulting in higher test scores and participation in classes.

SHINE girls have seen 100% improvement in math scores and confidence as measured by pre/post tests and surveys across several programs in numerous states. SHINE has received positive feedback from national media including CNN, CBS, Fox, the Boston Globe—and most importantly from the girls, parents, and teachers. Short-term objectives of empowering 6th-8th grade female students with both the confidence and mathematics skills to embrace math leads into the long-term goal of creating a pipeline of next-generation leaders in STEM fields. SHINE is currently taught in Washington DC, Chicago, and Boston- BAKERSFIELD IS THE FIRST city in California and on the West Coast to offer SHINE via a partnership with KDA.

Every middle school teacher has had a girl in a math class say, “I can’t.” SHINE turns the “I can’t” around by creating an environment in which girls not only realize that they can, but that they want to. SHINE consistently improves girls’ math scores and sparks their interest in mathematics.

Utilizing kinesthetic learning, movement and action replaces more passive forms of learning, such as listening to a lecture. We have all forgotten facts once memorized in a classroom, but we seem to be able to remember dance moves we once learned. By connecting the different ways in which we learn, SHINE enables effective understanding and retention of information in addition to imbuing abstract mathematical concepts with a physical meaning.

For example, SHINE introduces algebra through choreography: girls can create a simple dance of three twirls followed by a jump and will write down 3x + y where x = twirl, y = jump. Through dancing, girls realize that 3(x+y) = 3x + y + 2y. Before they say “I can’t do algebra,” they already have. This begins the positive feedback loop of girls believing in themselves, and their confidence stems from knowing they have the ability to succeed.

SHINE’s proprietary curriculum has been honed over several years and has provided consistent reproducible results.

SHINE provides girls with the opportunity to become engaged in STEM and assume leadership. Women in high school and college lead the 8 week sessions and also benefit from the experience by engaging in a network of women in STEM.

The innovative and proprietary SHINE curriculum features 3 different levels and covers the following topics: 1) Arithmetic and Order of Operations 2) Fractions, Decimals & 3) Pre-algebra 4) Coordinate Geometry 5) Planar Geometry 6) Probability and Statistics 7) Advanced Word ProblemsA typical day in the SHINE for Girls program will include:

  • Snacks and Bonding – SHINE mentors check in with their girls every week. Mentors review any homework and challenge problems from the previous week.
  • Kinesthetic Learning Activities – Each week a new math topic is introduced through kinesthetic learning- based activities. These activities are designed to teach the concepts in a new way and excite the girls about the material.
  • Dance – Girls learn dance in a formal setting from an experienced dancer. They will learn a dancer’s warm up and stretching routine, practice technical dance exercises, and rehearse choreography that will be performed in the final recital. Attitude, confidence, teamwork, and dedication will be emphasized.
  • Small Group Tutoring – Students join their mentors to review customized math problems corresponding to their curriculum level and the weekly topic. Girls are encouraged to work together, support one another, and lead the group through problems.
  • Final Day of SHINE– Girls perform choreography in front of family, friends, teachers, complete with costumes, awards, and snacks. Parents and teachers will have the opportunity to speak with their child’s mentor about their child’s progress.  SHINE National Team provides detailed summaries of progress (weakest/ strongest subject, areas that are most/ least improved, general feedback) when requested from teachers or parents

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About the Organization

Kern Dance Alliance is a nonprofit dance advocacy organization supporting and promoting dance + the arts in Kern County, Ca.