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Metro Detroit adults have new way to brush up on math skills

Educator offering adults-only math classes

Kasha Rothe admits that she struggled with math growing up, but she must use it now to run her business and to help her son with his homework.

So when she heard about the "Well, Refresh My Math" classes, she saw it as an opportunity to brush up on her math skills.

"I wanted to refresh my math for my son, who is in second grade.  I want to be able to help him more with his homework and also I wanted to get some basic things for my business because I use math every day in my business as well," said Rothe.

LaToniya Jones started offering the classes for adults only because she saw a need, whether it's to help with homework, apply for a job, workforce development, small business or entrepreneur work or to help with college and technical programs.

Jones is the owner and lead consultant for POWER Institute LLC,  Presenting Options While Educating Rigorously.

"Adults have challenges with math; they run away from math," said Jones. "Some of the challenges involve, if they're in higher education, sometimes they don't complete their degree because they can't get past the math classes, and that just hurt my heart when I was working in higher ed and teaching mathematics."

Jones was a certified middle school and high school math teacher. She was a middle school principal and director of developmental education at Baker College in Auburn Hills.   She has offered several programs to help youths with math, and now wants adults to thrive in the subject.

"We want to remove some of the anxiety so they can feel confident and develop proficiency along with helping their children," said Jones.

The goal of the workshops are to give adults the basics, and the foundation of math and understanding why, according to Jones.

"Understanding why we move the decimals to convert a decimal to a percent, which way, how does it relate to place value? So they're understanding the why as they're also practicing applications that relate to their business, their personal and their professional lives," Jones said.

Rothe said she uses math with her business, Rustic Maka, making and selling natural personal-care products.

"I think a lot of people forget that we use math every day and, you know, going to the store and looking at this sales," Rothe said.

The women who took a recent class said it helped them and they think it could help others.

"It's easier and you don't feel as intimidated," said Felisha Hatcher who runs Ec3 Labs: For Young Creatives, a youth mentoring program. "It's not as bad as you think.  If I can do it, anybody can do it."

Jones said adults who understand math can benefit economically too.

"Is it really a deal? Sometimes we tend to lean towards what looks familiar or easiest without really understanding, so it can help us save money, it can help us become more competitive in the workplace, competitive as entrepreneurs, so helping us to be more proficient but also efficient and effective," Jones said.

Jones is also writing a series of books to go with her "Well, Refresh My Math" workshop.   Each session has a sample of the books, but she hopes to have them available for purchase in June.

Each class costs $35, but Jones said that is discounted if a participant prepays for four consecutive classes.

The next classes will be offered May 19 in Farmington and May 21 in Detroit.  For more information visit refreshmymath.com or email: info@refreshmymath.com

Jones also runs POWER Org Math, a nonprofit for youth and families.  POWER stands for Providing Opportunities Winning Effectual Results.