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Do All Children Count? A Special Event on Early Math and Science Education

Award-winning teachers, NASA scientists, Sesame Street characters and a Latin Grammy winner will join education officials and development experts to discuss early math and science education in the early grades at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) headquarters in Washington, DC.

The Nov. 10 event is centered on the launch of the All Children Count Overview Report that brings together studies from the Latin American and Caribbean region with international research to define the components of high-quality early mathematics and science education from preschool through the primary grades.

The report calls for renewed focus on quality early math and science education in Latin America and the Caribbean. Playing catch-up with more developed countries is no longer an option for the region. Latin America countries must not only meet their own national expectations for mathematics and science achievements, but also exceed them.

The report underscores that all students can learn mathematics and science. But the traditional teaching method that emphasizes rote memorization of facts and formulas often leaves young children in a vacuum, unable to extract deeper meanings or visualize connections. Learning improves when teachers create meaning for the child by foregoing the transmission of facts in favor of problem-solving opportunitiesthat engage children’s minds.

The all day event, All Children Count will take place on November 10 at the headquarters of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC. It will feature interactive presentations, artistic performances and panel discussions on the advantages of starting mathematics and science education at an early age and of encouraging girls to embrace those subjects.

Among the speakers will be Michael Geisen, recognized as National Teacher of the Year in 2008; Diana Trujillo and Sandra Cauffman, two Latin American engineers who are leading programs at NASA; and Paloma Noyola, a high school student who obtained the highest score in a standardized math test in Mexico after her teacher introduced alternative education methods to her classroom.

Closing the event, IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and the Colombian singer Fonseca will present the ALAS-IDB awards, established by the Bank and the foundation of international artist and education advocate Shakira to recognize outstanding early childhood educators, centers, innovations and literature from Latin America.

Media who would like to cover please contact Mildred Rivera (

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The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

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