Family MathWays

The Zeno approach is rooted in community. We use early math learning as a vehicle for social justice by focusing on the existing ability of families of color in low income communities to leverage the effect that math can have on a child’s confidence, educational opportunities and future success. To accomplish this, we partner with early education providers, teachers, schools, home visitors, and community groups to deliver coaching, resources, and hands-on math events that focus on deep family engagement and celebrating cultural knowledge around math.

We employ these five practices when engaging families:

Explore - Allow children to explore freely without adult direction

Play - Create playful, positive, and hands-on math experience

Talk - Develop vocabulary and understanding

Build - Encourage growth through challenges

Connect – Connect math to everyday moments

Our work always begins and ends with community. Working alongside our partners and families, the Zeno team co-creates action plans that infuse race, place, language, and culture into math learning. 

We provide our partners with coaching, resources, and proprietary games so that they can foster math skill development and exploration for early learners between the ages of 3 to 5.

Zeno with Community

The families we engage with matter and deserve a space where their voices are at the center of program development. Through our Zeno with Community partnerships, we provide a flexible program that is rooted in cultural understanding, community knowledge, and personal connection. We have developed a foundational process that allows us to deeply and authentically support new communities, contributing to our larger goal of organizational growth and learning. Through this process, we come to an understanding of what the needs of communities are by hearing from families, co-creating with the appropriate partners, implementing an action plan, and reflecting and iterating. This is a process that aims to strengthen the connection between early math skill development and racial equity (race, place, language, and culture) in our program design.

Current projects include:

  • Zeno Community Care Centers
  • Family Child Care (FCC) and Community Specialist Train-the-trainer Model co-created with Horn of Africa

Zeno Essentials

We know that recurring acts of guided, resourced, and meaningful math play, help children build more positive math identities and help families as a whole build a more positive math culture in their everyday lives. To support our partners in engaging families in this way, we offer a suite of learning workshops that bring together racial equity, our 5 Practices, and early math skills development. These workshops are provided either as part of our Family MathWays programming, or as a stand-alone offering to influence mindsets about the role of early math in the lives of families of color.

We also host an annual Math + Racial Equity Institute. This conference creates space for people of color working in early education to network and share knowledge, with all aspects of the conference centering on racial equity. The event is grounded in community, with Zeno acting as a convener of community leaders and knowledge.


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