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Heart Math Tutoring Celebrates Tenth Anniversary as Nonprofit

February 23, 2024

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Feb. 23, 2024) – Over 400 attendees joined Heart Math Tutoring’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, February 22nd at The Revelry North End. The evening celebrated Heart Math Tutoring (Heart)– a Charlotte-based nonprofit dedicated to helping students in elementary schools develop foundational math skills and academic confidence, by using community volunteers as tutors.

Thursday’s event was attended by various supporters of Heart Math Tutoring including volunteers, donors, teachers, school district leaders, staff, and community partners. Deborah Peart, a leading voice in math education and Chief Executive Officer of My Mathematical Mind, was the featured keynote speaker. She addressed the crowd on the topic of “Comfort B4 Confidence: The Power of a Positive Math Identity,” and provided words to inspire future meaningful work: “We want to make sure that students recognize that they can embrace mathematics as a part of their identity they never have to lose…They can think big, they can dream big, and math won’t be the obstacle that keeps them from becoming whatever it is they want to be.”

The celebration recognized the Heart community and all who provide their time and talent to support local students. Heart Math Tutoring became a stand-alone nonprofit in 2013 after three years as a pilot model established by volunteers from Social Venture Partners, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and Communities In Schools. The organization began with a belief in all students’ potential and the knowledge that volunteer tutors, if given the right tools and support, could have a powerful impact on students who need individualized encouragement in math. In the 2013-14 school year, Heart partnered with two elementary schools to begin implementing the primary program model still in existence today: a structured, targeted curriculum; dedicated support from an on-site Program Coordinator; and ~50 students per school in grades 1-5 receiving tutoring during the school day twice weekly.

Through the support and generosity of Heart tutors and donors, over 6,000 students have received individualized tutoring over the last 10 years. To date, 97% have met program growth goals on pre/post assessments, and over 90% of teachers have reported an increase in their students’ academic confidence following participation in Heart Math Tutoring. In the 2023-24 school year, Heart is proud to be providing more than 1,100 students with math support and mentorship from over 1,200 volunteer tutors in 26 Charlotte elementary schools. In an exciting effort to bring one-on-one math tutoring to more students, Heart has also expanded its program to Charleston, SC (2022) and Winston-Salem, NC (2023), with five current partner schools across both regions. Additionally, Heart is engaged in several pilot initiatives this school year to learn more about how to best support students’ foundational math skills and long-term success.

At the event, remarks were shared from teachers at Heart partner schools via video [link], Equitable Foundation Head of Social Impact and President Jarian Kerekes, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Community Superintendent Dr. Steve Esposito, Heart Board Chair Connie Carlson, and Heart Chief Executive Officer Emily Elliott Gaffney. Gaffney ended the program with a call to action asking attendees to continue their support for Heart students over the next ten years by volunteering or donating: “The need continues for community support – students enter kindergarten without hands-on experience with numbers. It’s difficult for teachers to provide that level of differentiated support in a full classroom, and students begin falling behind. The people in this room and in our community have the power to change this.”

Heart’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration costs were offset by generous community partners: Presenting Sponsors – Brighthouse Financial and Equitable Foundation; Platinum Sponsor – Global Endowment Management; and Event Sponsor – Duke Energy. Sponsors not only provided donations to subsidize the cost of the event, they also collectively provide over 56 volunteer tutors in the current school year to support students through Heart’s program.

Heart Math Tutoring

Heart Math Tutoring is a Charlotte-based nonprofit with a mission to ensure that all elementary students develop the strong foundation in math and enthusiasm for academics needed for long-term success, by helping schools use volunteers as tutors. Community volunteers commit one hour per week to deliver an effective, hands-on curriculum through one-on-one tutoring sessions during the school day in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charleston County School District, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Heart is free of charge to families and focuses its support on students who do not have access to resources for private tutoring.

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer tutor, visit


Emily Gaffney, Chief Executive Officer at Heart Math Tutoring


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