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Ms. VanNess from Columbus OH is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Multi-Cultural Mathematics: Books that Celebrate Student Heritage

My students need engaging books about famous mathematicians from all over the world and their contributions to mathematics. They also need an abacus to put some of this new knowledge into practice.

  • $197 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

I teach at a community school in a hugely multi-cultural part of Columbus, Ohio. Restaurants and grocery stores near our school specialize in food from all around the world, especially Africa and Latin America. My students and their families are of many faiths, speak many languages, and have many varied experiences. They form a close community in the classroom and on the playground. Special interests are music, basketball, food, and family.

My students enjoy math, but tend not to think of themselves as mathematicians.

We take great pleasure in learning new skills and strategies, and especially in applying math to our real lives.

My Project

I would like to supplement my mathematics curriculum with a library that celebrates the multi-cultural history of mathematics, from Euclid to Al-Khwarizmi and Katherine Johnson.

Along the way, we'll learn how to count in base 20 like the Mayans and the Yoruba people, the history of our numbers, and how to use an abacus.

We will learn how people all over the world shared ideas and built on the knowledge of others to create mathematics, a powerful tool for solving problems in the real world.

I would like to use these books as a foundation for the concepts of math, to enrich and expand their mathematical thinking, and most importantly to engage them with mathematics. By recognizing the Islamic, Central American, Asian, and African contributions to mathematics, I hope to honor my students' heritages. My students already like math- I want them to see themselves as mathematicians and empower them to solve real problems.

Ms. VanNess
Grades 3-5
More than half of students from low‑income households

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2 donors2 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 75 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians • Amazon Business $27.75 1 $27.75
Al-Khwarizmi: Father of Algebra and Trigonometry (Physicians, Scientists, and Mathematicians of the Islamic Wo) • Amazon Business $20.10 1 $20.10
Count Like an Egyptian: A Hands-on Introduction to Ancient Mathematics • Amazon Business $19.76 1 $19.76
Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 • Amazon Business $14.88 1 $14.88
Warlord's Beads, The (Warlord's Series) • Amazon Business $13.57 1 $13.57
Melissa & Doug Abacus - Classic Wooden Educational Counting Toy With 100 Beads • Amazon Business $12.74 1 $12.74
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race • Amazon Business $11.48 1 $11.48
Euclid: The Man Who Invented Geometry (Mega Minds) • Amazon Business $7.99 1 $7.99
What's Your Angle, Pythagoras? (Charlesbridge Math Adventures) • Amazon Business $6.36 1 $6.36

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How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


2 Donors


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Project Activity

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