What is MAPPS?

:: History

Back in 1999, MAPPS received a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a program that would engage parents in the mathematics of the schools.  MAPPS orginally stood for Math And Parent Partnerships in the Southwest and was geared toward schools in Tucson and Chandler, Arizona, Las Vegas, New Mexico and San Jose, California.  Because the MAPPS program has since expanded across the country, MAPPS now stands for Math and Parent Partners.

:: Purpose                                                                               

The purpose of the MAPPS program is to help children improve their mathematics skills.  To accomplish this, we enlist the support of the student’s peers, families, and their schools.

By partnering with MAPPS, the parents begin to understand the importance of mathematics to their children’s future, become familiar with new changes in teaching mathematics and ultimately realize that both they and their children can be successful learning math.

:: How does MAPPS work?

The MAPPS program is geared towards parents of children in grades K-12.  By utilizing visual tools and hands-on materials, parents work in a relaxed, cooperative setting to solve math problems.

For many parents, the anxiety of math melts away as they begin to understand that they too can do math!  With their new self-confidence and  math skills, they begin to share with their children.  As families begin to do math together, children’s compentencies are improved and the broader community embraces mathematics as something everyone can do and enjoy.

:: Present Use

MAPPS Programs are now in place in 12 districts in 9 states around the country!  In a single year at a typical site, over 2300 parent-hours were logged in different MAPPS activities.


Parents who participated in MAPPS Programs  reported that they:

  • Feel good about “going back to school
  • Experience new, liberating styles of learning mathematics
  • Acquire new ways to help their kids with math
  • Have changed the dynamics for learning math with their families
  • Look forward to getting together with other parents to do mathematics

:: What the MAPPS Center Does

The MAPPS Center is the vehicle for getting MAPPS Programs in the schools—or other community-based organizations.  The MAPPS Center is housed in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Arizona and provides orientation and training workshops, support materials and ongoing consultations.

:: Current MAPPS Programs and Activities

There are three categories of MAPPS activities for parents: (For more detailed information regarding our programs, visit our Curriculum page)

  • Math Awareness Workshops–One, two-hour workshop for parents and their children designed around a single topic of mathematics (17 different topics available) Workshops are available for K-4 and 5-8, but can also be adapted for high school children.  Download a sample workshop
  • Math for Parents Mini-Courses–Eight, two-hour workshops spread out over a single semester and focused on one mathematics theme (Algebra, Whole Numbers, Fractions, Geometry and Organizing Data).
    Download a sample Mini-Course
  • Leadership Development–Designed to prepare parents and teachers to become workshop facilitators, participants are given strategies and guidelines for leading, recruiting and managing workshop activities.

:: Getting MAPPS Materials

Guidebooks for facilitating all MAPPS activiites and for organizing and maintaining a MAPPS Program can be obtained from the MAPPS Center.  All materials are research-based and available in both English and Spanish.

For more information about bringing the MAPPS Program to your community, please visit our Curriculum page,Getting Started page, Pricing or feel free to contact us.