Francesca Piacentini, Events and Schools Manager at Maths on Toast - the family maths charity spoke to the Campaign for Learning about why they chose to get involved with the Family Learning Festival for the first time last year.
What are your links to Family Learning?
At Maths on Toast, we foster positive attitudes to maths in families. For the last two years we have had a monthly residency at Pancras Square Library in Camden delivering free fun family maths activities. Additionally, we work closely with partners in the community to reach families who may not otherwise engage with us.
This was the first year you organised the Festival what do you feel your community gets out of the festival?
Families were able to enjoy maths games together and build positive experiences of engaging in maths. They were also able to get creative with maths buy drawing mathematical patterns and making number story bunting. Many of the families may not have engaged with maths in this way before so we gave them a hand-out containing ideas for continuing fun maths at home-hopefully that will have had some kind of lasting impact.
How long does it take you to organise and what were the costs involved?
We were lucky enough to have the space for the event provided through our working partnership with Pancras Square Library. The only real costs incurred were for printing, resources and craft materials for activities. These were relatively low and covered by our grant from the John Lyon’s Charity, who make our events as the library possible.
What made you decide to organise FLF this year?
We were in the second year of our residency at Pancras Square Library and keen to further our reach so that more families in the community could benefit from engaging in fun family maths.
Have you managed to leverage any resources through funding or pro bono following the success of last year?
Not directly, but all of our events at the library are evidence of our impact and could potentially be referenced in future funding applications.
What are the advantages of organising an event under a national campaign banner?
It gave us another platform through which to market our family events and prompted our attendees to think about family learning as a whole.
How will you incorporate this year's theme 'Try it Here and Take it Home'?
The event is called ‘Carousel of Conundrums’ and we will invite children (5-12 year olds) and their grown-ups to explore a number of maths challenges with a particular focus on their approach and strategies they can use when they get stuck. We will give parents a hand-out with tools for supporting their children in maths and direct them to further challenges they can get their teeth in to together at home.