Pairing Bedtime Math with Your Summer Reading Program Really Adds Up!

bedtime_mathAs summer draws closer, students start to think about sand and sunshine instead of school subjects. During the long summer months, librarians come to the rescue with fun and exciting summer programs that keep kids motivated to read. Guest blogger Laura Overdeck, the founder of Bedtime Math, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids love numbers, tells us how libraries can also help kids keep their math skills strong using Bedtime Math’s free app.

Summer Learning Loss

We all know summer learning loss is real, but did you know the “summer slide” is worse in math than in reading? Low-income kids lose more than 2 months in reading achievement over the summer break compared to their middle class peers, who make small strides. But research has shown that summer learning loss is even greater for math, affecting millions of students, regardless of family income levels. Library summer reading programs help prevent learning loss in reading, but can they help stem the slide in math as well? Yes, they can! Bedtime Math’s Summer of Numbers program makes it easy to weave math into summer learning at the library.

Using Summer of Numbers with Your Summer Reading Program

Promote the Summer of Numbers program alongside your summer reading program with free promotional posters. The program is simple:

  • Bedtime Math posts wacky stories and related math problems nightly on their website and pushes them out through their free app and email newsletter.
  • Kids track their daily math activities with star stickers on themed math logs, available through a partnership with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP). (Or visit to print out free, fun monthly calendars.)
  • At the end of the summer, kids return their math logs to the library for a prize.

If your library is not a member of CSLP, Summer of Numbers can still work for you. You can use the monthly calendars or invite kids to try Bedtime Math’s website or free app.

Year-round Bedtime Math

Of course, math isn’t just for summer — you can help your youngest patrons embrace math all year with a little help from Bedtime Math.

Honored as one of the “Great Websites for Kids” by the Association for Library Service to Children, Bedtime Math is packed with free resources for families, libraries, educators, and volunteers. When parents sign up to receive daily math problems they get playful, zany stories that first hook youngsters with topics like “How to Mail a Coconut” or “A Fun Swim with Killer Whales” and then introduce math concepts through questions related to the story. Whether they’re about flamingos, ninjas or pillow forts, the engaging stories will get kids excited to do math. And with 3 levels of questions, starting with simple concepts for the “wee ones,” the whole family can participate.

This parent-engagement activity can become part of any home routine: dinnertime, bathtime, bedtime, or breakfast time, and it only takes 5 minutes a day. You can encourage parents in your community to get involved by sharing the Bedtime Math website ( on your library blog, newsletter or website. Not only does the site give parents daily math problems, but also fun videos, games and printables to get their kids thinking like mathematicians.

Bedtime Math also has an abundance of resources for librarians, including ideas on how to host an after-school math club.

Making Storytime Count with Bedtime Math

In the spirit of making math as beloved as the bedtime story, Bedtime Math pairs wacky math problems with colorful illustrations in a popular children’s book series, which includes Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late; Bedtime Math: This Time It’s Personal; and Bedtime Math: The Truth Comes Out. (All proceeds from the books support the Bedtime Math Foundation’s free programming.)

The books are great for infusing math into your storytimes. Just like on the website, each problem features a new theme — so whether your storytime is about firefighters or frogs, you can find a Bedtime Math problem to match!

Join the Movement!

We can’t afford to let millions of children in this country lose so much ground in mathematics. According to a recent survey by Change the Equation, nearly 33% of Americans would rather clean the bathroom than solve a math problem!

We need to raise the next generation to love numbers. Join the movement! Add a little math to your library’s programs this summer — and beyond.

About Bedtime Math

Bedtime Math is a fast-growing nonprofit organization that helps kids love math as much as playtime or dessert, so they will embrace it in school and excel at it. With 60,000 followers and growing, Bedtime Math is focused on addressing a critical area of need in children’s education. For more information about Bedtime Math and its programs, please visit and


Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

As Founder of Bedtime Math, Laura has a keen interest in advancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. When not writing the daily math problem, she serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for Liberty Science Center, and is also an advisory board member and former Chair for Johns Hopkins' Center for Talented Youth (CTY) and The Governor's School of New Jersey. Laura holds a B.A. in astrophysics from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business.