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Chasing Dreams

By Wylana Lee
of the Wilmington Journal

In the poem titled "Children Learn What They Live", written in 1954 by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D., the author writes" If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty." Chase Aiken-Brown, an 18 year old New Hanover High School Senior lived this reality. He states "he was told by some of his teachers back in the sixth grade they didn't think he would make it to high school." Now that he is preparing to graduate with honors in a few months, he uses words like hate, frustration, and waste of time to express how he felt about school when he had to repeat the sixth grade, and still found himself unable to compete with his peers academically.

Maurrie Brown, exercised faith and patience in hope of finding someone who could successfully assist his son Chase with improving in school. A math teacher himself, he tried effortlessly to be that person to and for his son. When he realized that he was not getting through, one might think that he would have felt like a failure himself, however, he states "I didn't feel like a failure as a parent. I felt that I needed to keep searching until I found someone who could help him." He found just the right person in Dr. Clarence Thomas, concept developer of the Math Like You Read system. After attending a Town Hall meeting years ago, Mr. Brown approached Dr. Thomas about his concern for his son who was an "F" student repeating the sixth grade, and who could not recite the alphabet in order. An assessment for Chase was scheduled, and a plan of action for him to start the Math Like You Read system was implemented.

Dr. Clarence Thomas states that "Our children today are experiencing intellectual abuse, which is recycled confusion. The big problem with everything in education has centered on math. Once you get math straight, everything else falls in line." He says "Math Like You Read is a brand new math system; it is the most powerful educational system that's out here today." With the philosophy of recognizing God as the original proprietor, and a mission statement that reads: Accomplishing God appointed tasks Globally, this system is structured so that students can learn "mathing" (not arithmetic), writing, and reading. For Chase, he started by learning the basic Math Like You Read which focuses on areas such as time tables, and square roots, allowing him to learn through a system of repetition and worksheets. He has steadily progressed through the years and is presently using the system as he tackles calculus.

Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D., also writes in Children Learn What They Live, "If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal." Chase admits that he has come a long way since starting the Math Like You Read system. He credits this system for where he is today academically. He currently has a 4.15 GPA, and his biggest accomplishment this year has been the completion of his senior project in which he received a final exam grade of 99. The idea for his senior project to design a transit station for downtown Wilmington came from his passion for trains, encouragement from Mr. Bien, his calculus teacher (as well as a retired civil engineer), and his personal dream of becoming a civil engineer. The focus of his research paper was the need for a transit station in Wilmington, and the benefits of having such a station in an area other than downtown. For his physical product, he created a Computer Aided Design (CAD) of what he believed the transit station would look like, and he built a 3-D model of the design as well. He received a first time approval for his project from the judges. His mentor for his senior project whom he was introduced to by Dr. Thomas is City Councilman Mr. Ronald Sparks of Sparks Engineering, PLLC. He gives credit to his English teacher Ms. Stahl for editing his research paper, and his band teacher Mr. McCoy for allowing him to do his presentation for their class. While working on his project, he learned about setting goals and time management.

Chase Aiken-Brown has a very bright future in store. The student, who once received failing grades and was told he wouldn't make it to much further academically, has already been accepted to two universities, the University of Maryland and A&T State University in Greensboro. He gives credit to his parents Maurrie and Beverly Brown for never giving up on him, and to Dr. Clarence Thomas for the Math Like You Read system. When asked how he feels about the teachers that didn't think he would make it, he realizes that he could have been a statistic amongst dropouts, but he replies "You can't let people's opinions dictate what you're going to do in the future." To students who struggle in school, and don't have the support and encouragement of family, teachers and peers he simply says "Don't give up, just keep on pushing, and pick your friends wisely."

For more information on the Math Like You Read system, please visit www.mathlikeyouread.com

The Wilmington Journal
Thursday, March 4, 2010