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Cable TV Homework Series Faces Ax Without New Funding

May 31, 1987

LONG BEACH — Ms. Polynomial, Poly for short, may not have much of a television career left unless the Long Beach Unified School District finds grants to continue its video program aimed at helping children with math homework.

The "5-2-6" program--a pilot show broadcast in Long Beach, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood and Signal Hill--is winding down and the district is seeking new grants to continue the Monday-through-Thursday segments, said Jill J. Henricks, the district's instructional resources assistant director.

The Long Beach City Council has approved $5,000 to finance the last six segments, which Henricks said will show children how mathematics is used in everyday life. The money comes from a franchise agreement with Simmons Cable, which is obligated to furnish $130,000 for public access programming, with $30,000 going for educational programs.

Along with the video program shown from 5 to 6 p.m., high school volunteers answer telephone calls from 4 to 7 p.m. from youngsters needing assistance with their math homework, Henricks said.

The program, which began in January and features teachers with nicknames such as Ms. Polynomial, cost $30,000 to run, said Henricks.

"We can just see from the calls that the kids are benefiting," she said.

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