Windham Public Library was selected as one of six public libraries to start a Crazy 8s club for children in grades three through five. The Crazy 8s club is an off shoot of Bedtime Math, a program children’s librarian Laurel Parker was introduced to with her work as youth services chair for the State of Maine.
The library has held a few Bedtime Math parties, which incorporate math into everyday situations, items and provide learning for people of all ages, including adults.
“It’s stuff that is so every day,” said Parker. One of the problems given at a party was how long are the white passing lines on the road? And how long are the spaces in between?” Questions like this provide quality time between families as they research and figure out the answer. (They are 10 feet long and there is 30 feet between the white lines.)
The program is not only about the parties at the library, but every night at 4 p.m. the Bedtime Math app for smartphones sends out a math problem. The problem is offered for wee ones, little ones, big kids and the sky’s the limit (for adults). Once a week, they send out a math video, according to Parker.
Homeschooler and mom Catherine Miller is facilitating the new Crazy 8s club with Parker. The club is set to begin on Wednesday, January 15 and run through March 5, with activities like bouncy dice explosion and toilet paper Olympics. There are 14 slots and they will fill up quickly, Parker said. This pilot program requests that children sign up for the whole 8-weeks.
This national initiative to encourage mental math on levels that fit everyone in the family is unique.
“People are getting together as a group to have fun with math,” said Parker. There is a book on Amazon called, “Bedtime Math” filled with math riddles, and Parker teaches a class for Windham-Raymond Adult Education. The class for adults is February 4 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and it’s $9.
“Science and math are everywhere,” said Parker. “We do most anything (at the library). We need to get away from the book image. Libraries are the corner stones of science. We help to encourage lifelong learning.”