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Bruins by the Numbers

The MTA and the Boston Bruins have launched an effort to help educators make mathematics enjoyable and interesting by using real-world applications related to the game of hockey.

The Bruins by the Numbers program, developed with help from MTA members who teach math, is the latest in a series of programs that promote learning and student achievement. A poster promoting Bruins by the Numbers was inserted in the December/January edition of MTA Today.

The poster and the program are being funded by a grant from the Boston Bruins Foundation, which assists organizations that demonstrate a strong commitment to enhancing the quality of life for children.

"The entire Bruins family looks forward to teaming up with educators across the state for this campaign to get kids excited about math and promote student achievement," said foundation Chairman Charlie Jacobs. "The participation of community role models like Glen 'Muzz' Murray reminds children and adults that math is an essential skill for a lifetime of success."

Jacobs was referring to the Bruins forward who has agreed to promote the campaign. Murray appears on the poster, along with Blades, the team mascot.

To participate in the program, students can go to http://bruins.nhl.com/mathwithmuzz and download an entry form. Each student should then complete the appropriate math problem for his or her grade level and have a parent or guardian sign the entry form, which can be mailed to the Bruins for a chance to take part in a buy-one, get-one free ticket offer for select games at the TD Bank North Garden. Tickets are limited and will be awarded on a first come, first-served basis, and each student must be accompanied by at least one paying adult.

Deadline for entries is February 15.

"Bruins by the Numbers can help make math meaningful by relating it to real life," said MTA President Anne Wass. "Thanks to the generous support of the Boston Bruins, this program will help promote math instruction in students’ homes and increase parental involvement in students' schoolwork."

The Bruins program is similar to other partnership arrangements the MTA has created through Reading Matters, an educational non-profit organization created by the association. Program partners include the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics, media outlets and companies.

The program's beginnings date back to 2000, when the MTA Red Sox Reading Game was launched. The contest, which continues to thrive, is promoted by teachers in classrooms statewide and has inspired tens of thousands of children to read hundreds of thousands of books. A companion to the reading game, launched in 2006, is the Most Valuable Educator program, which encourages students to nominate teachers for recognition.

Although its origins are on the baseball diamond, Reading Matters has moved forward into many other areas in which the association can play a role in helping students and parents get excited about academics.

This fall marks the second season for the MTA's partnership with the Celtics, which is designed to promote school attendance and student achievement.

The Music Matters program, another recent addition, is being conducted in conjunction with classical radio station WCRB.

Music Matters introduces students to classical music and the instruments that orchestra members play. Through the program, musicians from the Boston-based New Philharmonia Orchestra will appear at schools throughout the state. Each visit will involve two or more musicians and will feature performances, discussions about the importance of music, and an instrument "petting zoo." For more information on the music program, visit http://www.wcrb.com/page_special.php.

"Taken together, the programs under the Reading Matters umbrella are a source of great pride among association members, many of whom incorporate program materials and themes into their classroom strategies," Wass said.

For more information on Reading Matters programs, call Robert Duffy in the MTA Communications Division or e-mail rduffy@massteacher.org.