Bedtime Math’s free pajama parties have now served more than 20,000 children ages 3-9 in libraries around the nation—and that number continues to grow by leaps and bounds, said the nonprofit’s founder Laura Bildeau Overdeck.
More than 600 parties have been thrown using her two kits, which include three activities centered around one theme such as sparkly zip lines and “monster” dominoes, she said in an interview. Glow-in-the-dark pencils are, of course, included.
“Libraries are trying to find ways to get people in the door,” Overdeck said. Moreover, “they’re feeling the pressure to do STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] and they’re looking for content.”
One goal is overcoming sometimes-negative attitudes toward math—even among some librarians, she said.
“We’ve heard from librarians who say they don’t like math, but this was even very friendly and approachable for me,” Overdeck said. “We want to give kids an on ramp for experiencing math.”
For now, the costs of the curriculum are covered by private entities which fund the nonprofit, which is based in Summit, N.J.
To learn more about the free supplies, click here.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.