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Published November 28, 2013, 02:22 PM

Thief River Falls teacher uses food drive to teach math skills, help those in need

A food drive with a mathematical twist -- a teacher at St. Bernard's school in Thief River Falls is trying to show her kids how useful math is outside the classroom.

By: Victor Correa, WDAZ

A food drive with a mathematical twist -- a teacher at St. Bernard's school in Thief River Falls is trying to show her kids how useful math is outside the classroom.

Kari Rath's third grade class has been collecting food for people in need. But rather than just have the kids bring food items in, Mrs. Rath is incorporating math into their charity.

"Say the kindergarten class brings in ten items, then my students will create a bar graph for that day they'll graph up to the number ten. And then the next day if the kindergarten class brings in 15 items, they'll create a bar of the 15 items, then we'll compare and contrast how many items were brought each day," said Rath.

Students will count their items and sort foods based on category. Mrs. Rath's goal is to show kids how useful math is outside the classroom, while also doing something good for the community.

"I think it really teaches the students, that yeah, hey we really do need math, you know we need to learn math, we need to know to weigh things, to know how to classify and sort, and so that's what I really think they take away from this project," Rath said.

The goal was to reach a thousand items by the end of the day, and this year, it was no problem. The food will go to the local armory to be distributed in time for thanksgiving. Mrs. Rath has been operating the food drive in this way for the past 10 years.

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