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Newspapers help youngsters to do the maths

An award-winning project developed by two regional dailies to help children improve their maths has been celebrated at a special event.

The Maths Challenge workbook, which was rolled out across Suffolk in June for the second year running as a response to poor maths results in schools, was devised by three local teachers in partnership with the East Anglian Daily Times and the Ipswich Star.

Around 6,000 children from 100 primary schools took part in the project which involves them working through a workbook of maths activities based on newspapers.

Pupils also took the workbooks home and were able to involve their parents in the initiative which was celebrated at an event hosted by Suffolk County Council.

Primary school pupils and teachers from Gislingham, St Helen’s and Moulton took part in the Maths Challenge sponsored by Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, left, and Joanna Young, from East Anglia Offshore Wind, right.

The project was so successful that the Archant titles won the PR and Community Service award at the International News Media Association’s 2013 conference earlier this year.

EADT editor Terry Hunt said: “It’s a good example of the contribution that a good local newspaper can, and should, make to its community – and is great fun too.”

A Gislingham school pupil works with Suffolk County councillor Inga Lockington on the Maths Challenge workbook.

Katherine Silver, director of marketing of Archant Anglia, added: “It is fabulous to bring such a project to life and to show just how our brands can help in such a tangible and effective way.

“Our sponsor, Scottish Power and Vattenfall, reached their target market effectively through our channels to audiences.

“And our brands’ values made the project credible and inspired a cohort of children to succeed beyond their peers.

“The Maths Challenge, through its mission to inspire communities, personifies brand engagement.

“It is also a great way to brush up on all long forgotten sums.”