- Do your kids sometimes say they do not want to learn Math?
- Would you like to help your kids get excited about Math, through fun lessons and activities?
- Do you have teenagers who think “Math is boring” or teenagers who absolutely love Math?
- Do you have a babe-in-arms, and wonder how on earth you are supposed to manage teaching your older kids while caring for the wee ones? Would you like to hear from experienced parents how to address such challenges?
- Would your little kids, older kids, or teenagers enjoy a special day of lessons and games while you connect with other home-educating parents?
Join us for our Pi Day Party!
Friday March 11th, 2022
8:30 AM —3:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church, 701 Florida Avenue, Bristol TN
This is a private, invitation-only party, and registration is REQUIRED-keep reading!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this for teenagers too?
Yes, absolutely! This event is truly for all ages.
For example, Alison will be teaching our oldest scholars a paper-folding exercise about basic Trigonometry. Other challenging and fun lessons are also planned with excellent teachers.
Is this for toddlers and young kids? Will there be a Mommy and Me group?
Yes, absolutely! This event is truly for all ages.
The Mommy-and-Me group will include Math in the Kitchen, music, and connecting with other moms to encourage one another.
Why is this Event Invitation-Only?
We do not have room to “invite the world” to this event. We are growing in size, though. We hope to grow even bigger next year, perhaps expanding to two locations.
For this year, we expect to hit our maximum capacity quickly, simply by inviting families who already have students enrolled in a Bristol Academy class, and friends of the home-educating parents who are on our team of volunteer teachers.
If you want to come, you MUST reserve your spot within 4 days of being invited to register! If you get an invitation and do not reply, we assume your answer is “no” and will invite someone else instead. You CAN still reach out to ask after that 4-day-period is over, but we MAY NOT still have room.
So, please don’t delay! We’d love to have your family participate, but our goal is to have an at-capacity event. So, we cannot hold a space for you if you cannot commit to coming; we need to give that opportunity to another family.
Can I come for just part of the day?
No. Space is limited. We can only welcome people who can be here at 8:30 and stay until 3:00. We will not run late. All activities will finish at or just before 3:00.
What does it cost?
Minimum donation of $5 per student or $14 per family, to offset our cost for this event. All the parents who are teaching are donating their time and skills; they are doing this gladly. But we do need a bit of help covering our expenses. Thank you!
8:30—3:00 is a long time! What will we do all day?
- Creative lessons led by excellent teachers
- Picnic lunch
- Math Scavenger Hunt
- Door Prizes—EVERY kid gets a door prize, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors!
- Eat PIE!
What are the Goals of this Event?
- To inspire kids of all ages to want to study Math
- To encourage and equip home-educating parents
- To teach lessons in Math and in other subjects related to Math
- To help students discover that Math and logical thinking skills are important to so many areas of life
Do Parents Need to Stay With their Kids All Day?
We hope all parents WILL stay all day, because a primary goal of this event is to better encourage and equip YOU! You get to observe excellent teachers, get tips from them regarding how to enrich your students’ learning on a day-to-day basis, and connect with other moms. Plus, there are many simple yet important volunteer jobs which we need capable parents to do, to make this event safe and successful.
Plus, parents of our youngest kids have a special class just for them, while the littlest ones have a music class. You’ll get to discuss practical tips for addressing the challenges of educating older kids with babies in tow, and more. We have recruited some veteran home-educating moms who are delighted to share how they have “failed their way to success” as a way to pay it forward.
Having said that, there are rare situations where a parent truly needs to make this a “drop off” event. If you are in such a situation, please email Teresa Barker, at firstname.lastname@example.org, after you register.
What do kids say, who have been to Pi Day Parties in the past?
“I thought the math scavenger hunt was lots of fun!”
—Aletheia, age 12
“Are we going to the Pi Day Party again? I remember that ! It was the best day of my life..”
–Laura, age 7
What do parents say, whose kids have participated in previous Pi Day Parties?
“I am so grateful for the opportunity my children have to learn math in an interesting way, full of camaraderie with new friends and old.”
—Jennifer, teacher and mom
“I am astounded at the fact that my kids are still talking about the Pi Day Party, here as Christmas approaches. They are not just saying “That was fun, wasn’t it?” to each other. Instead, they are randomly bringing up actual Math information they learned during that event, and talking about it as siblings and with us parents. Attending the Pi Day Party was one of the best things we did as homeschoolers and we will definitely put it on our list to participate again.”
“Despite my best efforts, it is not always easy to create excitement around math in our homeschool. The Pi Day Party is a highlight in our year as my kids have the opportunity to experience math in new ways, learn from other enthusiastic and knowledgeable teachers, and interact with a fun group of kids their own ages.”
—Beth, teacher and mom
“Outside-the-book. I think that describes how I teach my students. That’s how I learn, too. I can study to understand concepts, facts can be memorized and recalled for exams, but they don’t spring to life until I see them demonstrated. The Meredith Pi Day event brings math to life! For my own kids and all the other kids who participate. Pi Day takes the math out of the textbook and lays it in the laps of the kids who attend, by building on the mathematical concepts that they are learning at home and in school with fun, hands-on demonstrations, and practical exercises. School field trips, labs, and events like Pi Day sparked my curiosity as a youngster. And curiosity is an itch that must be scratched. It’s the seed that kick starts learning. The Meredith Pi Day event is a cultivator of curiosity. We, as educators, may not be fortunate enough to be there when it blooms, but we can water it. Pi Day continues to water curious minds thanks to the generosity of local companies and individuals. I’m thankful for the opportunity to participate. I’m curious to see what fascinating new things I’ll learn this year, as I’m honored to again be part of the teaching team at the Pi Day Party!”
“So glad to have just received an invitation to this year’s Pi Day party! My boys have been asking about this event since . . .basically, since the day after last year’s event!”
— happy Mom
What Group Organizes this Event?
The Pi Day Party is an event hosted by Bristol Academy. Alison Meredith is the director of Bristol Academy; other members of the leadership team are: Ruth Grunstra, Donna Hensley, Isha Youhas, and Teresa Barker.
Alison Meredith is also the director of the Pi Day Party. The leaders of this event include all the teachers listed below plus about 20 other volunteers.
Why is the Cost so Low? Who Funds this?
The cost is so low because leaders and businesses in our community are honored to support the goals of this event, and we do not want any parent to choose to not participate due to cost. The sponsors of this event include:
A donation of any amount is most welcome, and will be used not only to offset our general expenses but also to buy more door prizes and to invest in better Pi Day Parties for future years. If your business would like to sponsor this event, or if you would just like to make an anonymous donation, please reach out to our treasurer, Teresa Barker, at email@example.com
What is Pi Day, and What’s the History of Celebrating it?
For any circle, of any size, the distance around that circle divided by the distance across that circle equals 3.14159. . . pi is an irrational number, so that precise decimal continues infinitely without ever repeating itself.
About 25 years ago, some Math teachers had an idea. Since 3.14 is a common approximation for Pi, why don’t we celebrate “Pi Day” with our students on March 14th? The goal was simple: help kids remember that fabulous, fun, irrational number Pi. We called it a success if the only thing a student remembered from a Pi Day celebration was:
(Lazy grammar is purposeful in the below quote. This captures what most teenagers would actually say, months after our Pi Day celebration, if someone asked them “What is Pi?”)
“Well, one day in March, my Math teacher acted really excited, and, like, we played some Math games, and then ate pie. In class! I got chocolate. It was pretty cool. So, I guess since March is the 3rd month . . .well, I guess, like, Pi must equal 3-point-something, because . . .well, she said that the party day was the Pi number and . . . like I don’t remember the date, ya know? So I don’t remember the decimal or anything but I guess 3-point-something must be what Pi is.”
If our teenaged students could say “Math class was fun today” AND get locked into their brain that “Pi is about 3”—we called that a success!
Here in Bristol, our Pi Day Party for home-educated students has been growing in size over the past 5 years. We’ve discovered that Friday is the best day to have this event, so we’ve switched from having our party on Pi Day itself. Instead, we now have our party on whichever Friday is closest to March 14th. We’ve all been to a Christmas Party that wasn’t on December 25th, right? That’s the “Why” of us having a party that’s not on the exact date.
Who are the teachers for this event?
Alison Meredith earned her BS in Mathematics from Virginia Tech. She taught professionally at an inner-city Science & Technology magnet school in North Carolina, at Dobyns-Bennett, and in Massachusetts. In 1997 she was one of ten teachers nationwide to receive the Future Leaders award from NCTM. She has been a home-educating mom “since the beginning.” Her seven children are now ages 10-22. She has created a plethora of resources to protect kids online. She and her husband Tim founded Holston IT over 13 years ago to provide cybersecurity to local businesses; they recently rebranded to become Tech Eagles
Lynette D’Avella earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The University of North Florida. She primarily taught 1st grade to intercity, at-risk children for 5 years. She was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2001. She has been home-educating her four kids for over 18 years. Her husband, Steve, provides a hands-on component to their education by including the children in his contracting company’s planning and construction tasks. Lynette also offers reading tutoring in her home that stresses a multi-modality approach to learning.
Eric Crouch earned his BS in Electronic Engineering Technology from ETSU. He worked in the cell phone industry for 10 years before deciding to become a home educator. Eric and his wife, Beth, have been home-educating for over 15 years. He believes that curious kids teach themselves, so he strives to cultivate that natural wonder. Eric’s wife Beth is a nursing professor at Milligan; they are actively involved in their church and have lived in Bristol for years.
Nick Grabar graduated as an Industrial Engineer from Virginia Tech; he worked for over twenty years at Eastman Chemical Company, including Quality Management and helping manage the newly formed Eastman Corporate University. He designed organizations and built team effectiveness in new international plants. Now he loves teaching his grandkids and their peers. He also volunteers as a mentor for homeschoolers who seek to qualify for Tennessee Promise.
Karen Blackard earned a BA in Business Computer Information Systems in 1985 from the University of North Texas. After graduation, she spent 15 years in the ranks of corporate America working for a telecommunications company. She home-educated her kids for over twenty years; they have all flown the nest. Karen fills her days with traveling, creating art in a variety of mediums, composing music, and playing the piano.
Philip Bond earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tennessee Tech University and is currently working on a master’s degree in fire protection engineering from Cal Poly University. While in school, he worked as a learning center tutor in the areas of writing, chemistry, college algebra, and calculus. His most recent teaching endeavor was instructing a high school chemistry class for a local homeschool co-op. Philip works as a mechanical and fire protection engineer at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Sylvia Meredith earned her BS in Chemistry, with honors, from ETSU in 2021. She works for Eastman in Research & Development. She has been helping teach younger kids since she was quite young and loves to share her love of Math and Science.
Brad Overturf built upon his love of math as a child to pursue a career in chemical engineering. He earned degrees from the University of Illinois and Purdue University. He moved to Kingsport over 40 years ago and worked for more than 30 years at Eastman Chemical Company in the areas of process development and design. He enjoys working with children, especially in areas related to science. and taught Children’s Sunday School and Vacation Bible School at his church, First Broad Street United Methodist, for many years. He and Retta have two daughters and three grandchildren.
Olivia Bond has a passion for cooking and working with children. She is highly skilled in coaching people of all ages to better understand cooking, food, health, and nutrition. She especially enjoys teaching the littlest among us, in fun, interactive ways. She earned a certification with the Academy of Culinary Nutrition in 2021. If she’s not in the kitchen, she can be found at her treadle sewing machine whipping up a new garment. Recently married in December of 2021, she’s embracing her new role as a wife and homemaker. She enjoys planning engaging activities that teach and reinforce math skills in an interactive way.
Johnny Molloy is a self-employed outdoor writer based in Johnson City, Tennessee. Johnny has authored over 80 outdoor books covering hiking, paddling, camping and true adventure. He was born in Memphis and moved to Knoxville to attend the University of Tennessee. It was in Knoxville where he developed his love of the natural world that has since become the primary focus of his life. He has spent over 800 nights in the Smokies alone, where he cultivated his wordsmanship and expertise on those lofty mountains. Friends enjoyed his adventure stories, one even suggested he write a book. Soon he was parlaying his love of the outdoors into an occupation. The results of his efforts are over 80 books, including more in the works. As he continues to write, he travels extensively to all four corners of the United States to see more of God’s creation and to continue in a wide variety of outdoor pursuits.
Jordan Gobble is the current Program Director at Camp Bays Mountain in Kingsport, TN. She graduated with her bachelor’s in marine science from Coastal Carolina University and is about to graduate with her masters in Outdoor Environmental Education from Slippery Rock University. She loves everything that has to do with water and animals. She enjoys teaching children about the wonders of the world around us.
What do we need to bring?
- A great attitude
- A lunch bag for each person in your family—preferably, individually package the lunches for your older kids, to make it easier for members of your family to mix around with others during lunch.
- A water bottle for each student
- PIE! Please bake or buy a pie to share and bring it with you.
- That’s it! We’ll provide pencils, paper, and all other needed supplies
*We WILL have fridge space to keep your pie cold during the event, but we will NOT have fridge space to keep everyone’s lunches cold during the event. You’ll have time to go grab your lunch from your car, if you want to keep your lunches cold in an ice chest in your car.
Complete this form ASAP.
For your kids’ name/ages, please do this:
- List the first name only, as you want it printed on his nametag.
- If your child’s next birthday is less than 4 months away, you can round his age up to that upcoming birthday’s age.
- If you have more than five kids, fill this out then submit it, then refresh your page and fill it out again for the kids you still need to register.