To the Editor:

Darien has many wonderful resources, but my favorite is your students. I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge some students from Darien High School who have created their own program to help younger students take an interest in the field of mathematics.

Over the past three years, two Darien High School seniors have developed a volunteer math enrichment program called Strength From Numbers. Driven by their true passion in math, James Strong (president and co-founder) and Ming Wu (co-founder) have worked to bring fourth and fifth graders a program that pushes their minds while exciting them about the field of mathematics. They are about to host an open-enrollment online summer session as well. Their philosophy is to teach students how to think creatively about math by weaving together higher-level mathematics with real-life applications; but most importantly, James and Ming want to teach students how to think logically and cleverly like math students, something applicable in all areas of life.

The two boys started together teaching initially at Julia Stark Elementary School in Stamford, but with an overwhelmingly positive response from the teachers, parents, and students alike, the two decided to expand to more elementary schools the following year. The boys grew their team of mentors to incorporate a total of six students from the Darien High School (including: Andrew Qin, Marcus Feng, Jonathan Strong, Luke Smith), enabling them to host a Stamford Elementary School Math competition online.

These boys were undeterred by the school closures; over the last few months, James and Ming have been dedicated to continuing math sessions online to keep their students’ skills sharp and maintain their love for the subject. Currently, the Strength From Numbers team is planning to hold summer sessions for support and enrichment to any students entering grades six through nine. Especially during these times when instruction may be scaled back, James and Ming believe that they can continue to support their community by bringing their skills and enthusiasm for math to any student. If you have a child who would be interested in joining the math fun, please feel free to check out their website at Strengthfromnumbers.com.

I am proud of these talented men, who show a maturity far beyond their years. I would like to take a moment to publicly say thank you. I am proud to be your StrengthFromNumbers advisor. Darien, be proud of your future citizens! These young gentlemen will go on to do great things!

Peter Kinahan

Title I Math Teacher, Stamford

StrengthFromNumbers advisor