February 18, 2014 at 7:56 AM
Overcoming our fear of math, especially at a young age, is the subject of the College Woman’s Club of Westfield’s benefit luncheon on Wednesday, March 12, at 11:30 a.m. at Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield. Guest speaker Laura Bilodeau Overdeck, founder of Bedtime Math, will explore the ways in which math can become either a stumbling block or a launching pad towards careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). Using games, puzzles and examples from her books, Ms. Overdeck will challenge attendees to experience math in a new and playful way. The luncheon is $60 per person and all proceeds benefit the club’s scholarship program.
A graduate of Princeton and Wharton, Ms. Overdeck founded Bedtime Math to encourage young children to enjoy math at an early age using fun nightly problems. Her first book garnered widespread attention and led to a second, Bedtime Math 2: This Time It’s Personal, as well as a nonprofit foundation that will soon launch a nationwide after-school math club. She credits her own education in the Westfield school system with inspiring her love of the subject.
“My love of math and science—and a growing awareness that math can be playful and approachable for kids—grew out of the wonderful experiences I had in the Westfield schools,” said Ms. Overdeck. “Children who are fluent in math are more likely to be creative thinkers, skillful problem solvers, and able to work in rapidly growing STEM fields, which offer top pay and go begging for workers. We need to ensure all young people are math-literate and mathletic, and change our culture to eliminate the stigma associated with math.”
In addition to her work with Bedtime Math, Ms. Overdeck is involved with several non-profits focused on STEM and has served on the boards of the Liberty Science Center, Drew University, Governor’s School of NJ, and the Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth. She was raised in Westfield and lives in Short Hills with her husband and three children.
Founded in 1917 to further higher education for women, the College Woman’s Club awards scholarships to young women from Westfield on the basis of academics, leadership and financial need. The annual spring luncheon is the club’s largest fundraiser, with all proceeds from ticket sales and raffle items benefitting scholarships. To reserve the luncheon and request a copy of Bedtime Math ($14.99) and Bedtime Math 2 ($15.99) for signing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, please visit the club’s website at www.cwclubwestfield.com.