Walking the corridors of Temple Learning Center you’d be forgiven for passing Linda Davis’ noisy class without a second glance. It looks from the outside at least pretty much like all the other nondescript classrooms that line this hallway.

Until you take a closer listen. Davis… “Yellow, blue, yellow blue…patterns, patterns…come on concepts…focus, focus what comes next.” Students…”Yellow, blue…” Davis…what comes next…come on you can do this don’t be afraid…what comes next…” “Yellow, blue,” answers 3-year-old Stayce Bradley of Mira Loma. Hovering over six students Davis asks, “What kind of math are we learning…”

“Algebra,” the students shout…. “Give me a high five,” Davis says slapping the flat of their palm against the palm and flat hand of Tyler Pinkey, 3.

Linda Davis teaches algebra. Never mind that her students carry Disney’s Princess and the Frog and Power Ranger backpacks, still have most of their baby teeth and have the alphabet taped on their desks. “These preschoolers are learning the “gatekeeper” course that determines whether students will have access to higher education,” she says with a big grin.

Further down the hall 8th and 9th graders are pondering mathematically complex ways to arrive at 9: – 219 + 228 or (10 x 5) – 40 – 1, or even (3 x 3) + (8 x 8) – ((4 x 4) + (4 x 4)) – 32.

Temple preschool director Davis is a credentialed math educator who, with the help of five instructors, is teaching San Bernardino students the fundamentals of math through the CSU Summer Algebra Institute. The institute is a partnership between the California State University and the Temple Learning Center, which is affiliated with Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

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