MBE honour for Dagenham maths club founder
PUBLISHED: 11:14 31 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:25 02 January 2015
The number crunching founder of a free Dagenham maths club has been made an MBE for his services to education in east London.
Gbolahan Ayorinde Bright develops youngsters’ interest in the subject through weekly sessions at his aptly named Bright Maths Club at Dagenham Heathway library.
The 57-year-old teacher, who is also a lecturer at Barking and Dagenham College, admitted to feeling “overwhelmed” when he received a letter informing him of his honour about a fortnight ago. He has dedicated his award to his students.
“It’s quite fulfilling and I feel humbled,” the father-of-three said. “I’m now looking forward to going to the palace to collect the award which I think will be one of the greatest moments in my life.”
Gbolahan started his Dagenham maths club for seven to 11 year olds on Friday evenings in 2000 after becoming aware that children were not engaging with the subject despite its importance.
He has since added further sessions in the community room at Tesco in Roneo Corner and the myplace Centre in Harold Wood, with 50 students on the books across the three - plus another club set to open at Marks Gate Community Centre next month.
“Maths is a core subject and everybody needs it, whatever they want to do in life,” Gbolahan, who lives in Romford, explained. “We treat every person as an individual.
“We find with some children that the parental support isn’t there and that affects their learning because you can’t build a solid foundation on a shaky base. If you work on that, then the rest is history.”
Gbolahan, who is also a pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, has passed on his passion to his son, Joshua.
He is the youngest ever student to study a degree at Queen Mary’s University and graduated with a first class honours degree in maths and finance at the age of just 17.
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