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Millcreek Journal

Mark Miller Subaru teams up with Mill Creek Elementary to tackle math proficiency

Mar 08, 2021 11:07AM ● By Katy Whittingham

The Valentine’s Day Store set up by Mark Miller Subaru for students to redeem their “Suba Blue Bucks” for educational games and prizes. (Credit Mark Miller Subaru)

By Katy Whittingham | [email protected] 

Mark Miller Subaru is in the second semester of a volunteer project, tutoring third-grade math students at Mill Creek Elementary School. The first semester started with a partnership with the United Way, but this semester they have taken it on as their own with Marketing and Guest Relations Director Mike Aguilar leading the effort to help students reach grade level math competency. 

Aguilar said that the effort come from Mark Miller’s “commitment to making a difference in the lives of others” and desire to help struggling children in our community. “If there is one thing people should know about Mark Miller is that he has a huge heart,” Aguilar said. 

Mark Miller Subaru employees are using Zoom to help tutor several dozen students with the goal of getting them caught up and proficient in math for future success. The tutors start with a Kahoot quiz each day to engage the students and get their attention before breaking into “tutoring teams” using an iReady math tutoring program. 

Mill Creek Elementary, a Title I school, maintains a commitment as their mission states, “Every Student – Every Day – Every Opportunity,” to foster academic growth for each student. Tutoring through this kind of individualized and small group attention not only increases math comprehension and learning strategies, but can boost students’ confidence and approach to getting help in the future. According to the Utah Education Network (UEN), Utah Grade 3 mathematics focuses on four critical areas, “developing understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for multiplication and division within 100, developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions, developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area, and describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes.” 

As an added incentive for students to stay motivated and do well on their iReady lessons, Mark Miller Subaru gives them a “Suba Bleu Buck” for each lesson they pass to collect and redeem at their “stores” that are set up to have fun and educational games and prizes. They held a Christmas store, Valentine’s Day store, and will hold another store at the end of the semester. Bleu, the dog pictured on the “Suba Bleu Bucks,” is a mixed-breed dog adopted by Mark Miller Subaru and has the role of “Love Promise Ambassador” greeting customers and offering comfort and joy to all. 

Aguilar said he would not change the experience of working alongside Miller and other Subaru employees helping the students at Mill Creek Elementary for anything. 

“Watching these kids grasp a new concept in mathematics is something truly remarkable. Not just because they've learned something new, but because they are gaining confidence knowing that they can do anything if they put their mind to it including, but not limited to, a challenging math problem.”