We have been coveing a ton of great education startups over the past several months. However, most of these companies are involved with the standard classroom education. However, we just came across Great Parents Academy. Great Parents Academy provides students and teachers of grades K-5 with high quality supplemental math curricula for these students. We had a chance to ask the team a bit more about the platform:
What is Great Parents Academy?
Based in Atlanta, Great Parents Academy provides supplemental math curricula for children in grades K-5. Through its interactive web-based software and gamified, character-guided lessons, Great Parents Academy motivates children and facilitates parental engagement in the early educational ecosystem.
What makes Great Parents Academy unique?
First, our focus is on parents, children and teachers’ needs in K-5th grade. Teachers do a great job of engaging students at school, and we want to enable parents to help and/or encourage children to keep learning when they come home.
Our application takes a three-prong approach to keeping parents and children engaged in the child’s math education with:
“Learn,” which teaches the child math (full one-year curriculum created by our state-certified
teachers) in a personalized, fun and gamified process; “Engage” facilitates private communication between parents, teachers, extended family and the child; and “Motivate” keeps the child engaged in learning by providing them with parental and commercial rewards based on their effort and achievements within the “Learn” platform of GPA.
Why did you get involved in Education?
We (Mark Buffington and Cynthia Morneweck) are first and foremost parents of elementary school children, and we both wanted to be more involved with our children’s education beyond volunteering and PTA work. Three years ago, I (Mark) created a simple Microsoft Excel-based program to help my daughter with math, which contained math instruction, problems and some
small incentives to help motivate her. She loved it, and it got me thinking that if it helped motivate her, surely something similar could also help other elementary school students. In 2012 and 2013, we conducted research on parents (Cynthia lead this effort since she has a UX background in research and application design) in which we discovered we were not alone and many parents had similar needs, in wanting to take a more hands-on approach to their child’s math education. We formed Great Parents Academy out of the need for an application which motivates students while also engaging parents.
Tell us about your team and their backgrounds
Mark Buffington, CEO and Co-Founder; Parent and Businessman
Cynthia Morneweck, COO and Co-Founder; Mother of two, Experienced User Experience Professional
Dr. Haidee Copeland, Chief Learning Officer; Mother of two, Former Education Professor
What is the next step? What do your current goals look like?
We want to provide value to families and teachers with a math application that can adapt to their child’s and their family’s needs. We measure success by the number of math skills mastered by children
and the amount of communications created by parents, teachers, extended family and the child.
Our ultimate goal is to help children leave elementary school with a deep love of