To further our commitment to K-12 schools and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, DIRECTV kicked off 2013 by investing more than $200,000 in the Partnership for L.A. Schools to further the implementation of ST Math, an online math learning program. The Partnership for L.A. Schools Math Challenge, sponsored by DIRECTV, launched on Digital Learning Day (Feb. 6, 2013) in conjunction with the national campaign to shine a spotlight on effective use of technology in the classroom.

WATCH VIDEO: DIRECTV ST Math Challenge Announcement

Through this initiative, students at all 11 of the Partnership for L.A. Schools—including elementary and middle schools in Watts, Boyle Heights, and South Central Los Angeles—received access to the ST Math online learning platform, and teachers received related professional development.

Between Feb. 6 and May 3, DIRECTV also launched a Math Challenge contest to drive student achievement in math, awarding prizes (including free DIRECTV service and iPad minis) to teachers, principals, students, and parents. The awards were based on student progress using ST Math, aggregate classroom and school math results, and use of the online learning tool outside of the school day.

In May, DIRECTV brought exclusive end-of-year events to the campuses of the grand prize-winning elementary and middle schools to celebrate math achievement. Nearly 1,300 students at  Gompers Middle School and Ritter Elementary in Watts had the opportunity to practice their math skills through a variety of hands-on experiences beyond the classroom, including an outdoor activity course, cooking demo sponsored by Food Network, and weather reporting demo sponsored by The Weather Channel.

The Partnership for L.A. Schools is a unique collaboration between the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District to turn around L.A.’s lowest performing schools and create a model for doing so district-wide. Today it is one of the largest public school turnaround projects in the nation, serving nearly 15,000 students across 22 schools in some of the city’s poorest communities.

DIRECTV was one of the first corporate partners to support the Partnership for L.A. Schools. We began by underwriting the Parent Centers on campus at the first 10 Partnership schools for the 2007-2008 school year, and we’ve continued that tradition at each campus that joins the Partnership. We’ve also brought luminaries—including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Herbie Hancock, and Oprah Winfrey—to speak to and inspire students at Partnership high schools.