Friday, June 14, 2024
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Two Harbors Public Library Offers Crazy 8s Math Club

Though the Crazy 8s Club’s organization states any adult, despite their math ability level, can coach their eight-week math club program to children grades 3-5, Emily Savageau is a perfect fit. After speaking to the Two Harbors Public Library technician briefly for this interview, I came away with a refreshed view of my longtime nemesis, math.

Math anxiety is real. An alarm goes off in my head just at the mere sound of the word. Studies report about one in four adults have some degree of math anxiety that began as early as elementary school. It’s critical to nip that anxiety in the bud and give kids exposure to how math can be fun. The Crazy 8s Club’s website cites a study conducted at John Hopkins University which discovered that “Crazy 8s significantly reduced children’s feelings of math anxiety after just 8 weeks.”

The free program offers high-energy math activities to keep kids engaged in discovering the magic of math. Coaches, like Emily, are provided kits with supplies to support each week’s activity. Some basic school supplies, such as markers, are being provided by the library.

Crazy 8s is open to all ability levels. “Everything is supposed to be easy to do and fun,” Emily said. The library director, Madeline Jarvis, had partnered with the program at a previous library position in Iowa and thought it would be a good idea to bring it to Two Harbors. Made-line likely knew who a great lead for the project would be.

“I do enjoy math and I enjoy helping kids learn,” Emily said, of taking the role on. “It sounded fun.”

She encourages other educators to look into the program and start a club. There are some parameters, such as the number of participants. The club must also take place after school hours. She also advised that there is another program offered for a younger age group and different iterations, referred to as “seasons.” If season one is popular at the Two Harbors Public Library, there will likely be a season two.

Emily, who loves puzzles and codes, is looking especially forward to week 4, which includes a “spy training challenge.” Solving different cryptograms will lead the club to a secret treasure. Emily isn’t sure what that is yet, but I reminded her it’s because it’s a secret.

A maximum of sixteen kids can sign up for the club and, at the time of the interview, there were still spaces available. The club will take place on Fridays from 3-4 PM. Parents can call the library or visit the front desk to find the sign-up sheet. Emily is excited for the club to start and to help kids have fun with math.

 “Whether kids realize it or not, math is something they’ll use every day. It makes an impact on music and sports. It’s everywhere,” she said. “There is math all around us.”

When I think of math in that context, it’s less intimidating and more exciting. Taking music lessons as a kid, I had to learn a whole new set of math and equations. Tempos, timing, counting… it was a lot more math than I realized. This was likely due to my motivation to learn to be a musician. I was quite less interested in how many apples May would get if she was born in July and her sister’s name is June.

Thank you, Emily, for taking on this challenge! Those kids are lucky to have a coach with your enthusiasm and love for math.

To learn more about signing up, contact the Two Harbors Public Library at 218-834-3148. To read more about the Crazy 8s club, visit their website at crazy8sclub.org.

Feel free to reach me at sarahwritesnsj@yahoo.com  with any news we should news about!

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