The DRANREF Foundation (TDF)
The DRANREF Foundation (TDF), is the philanthopic arm of BTG, and together we advance STEM Education and Entrepreneurship in underserved communities. Since 2015 TDF, a 501(c)3 charitable and educational organization, has exposed over 2,000 students and 170 teachers to the ancient practices of problem solving and nurtured over 200 budding entrepreneurs. The Abacus Project is our signature program started in 2016. We use the Japanese abacus, called a Soroban, as a strategic tool to build confidence and boost achievement in the students we serve.
The Abacus Project invites students to explore Asian culture and mathematics through one of the world's oldest calculators. Students build their own Soroban (Japanese Abacus) using colorful beads and craft sticks, and then uncover the ancient number system, watching their calculations come to life through strategic bead movement. Abacus practice supports better working memory for students who struggle with attending to tasks, and helps with focus and mastery of basic math operations with greater accuracy and speed. Professional Development Workshop for Teachers are also offered to area schools and community centers to help scale the project and our reach.
This year, we are excited to introduce our high impact math tutoring services, integrating abacus practice to enhance critical thinking while providing instruction on math concepts studied in school that require extra attention and mastery.
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." - Albert Einstein
Our mission is to use the Soroban (Japanese abacus) as an instructional tool to build confidence and boost achievement in black and brown students.
We believe that if we help students perform on grade level by 3rd grade, then students are more likely to stay on course through high school. Our research shows that early math achievement is the greatest predictor of later academic achievement. Consistent difficulty in math during elementary school is associated with higher dropout rates and lower college entrances - even more so than consistent difficulties in reading.
Black Kids Count
The Abacus Project believes in fighting for good and empowering today's youth. Without a doubt, black kids count! In a time where answers are few, we reach out and reveal to children what's already there - their potential to persist and become successful problem solvers and math students. We invite them to create, think and discover.