Irving School wins STEM award in a colorful way

A little math plus a lot of crayons equaled one good deed for the environment and dozens of happy kids in local hospitals. Irving Primary School in Highland Park will be awarded a STEM prize for saving 127 pounds 3 ounces of crayons (0.5 pounds per student) from local landfills through The Great Crayon Cleanout, a new partnership between Bedtime Math Foundation and The Crayon Initiative. The event helped kids learn basic math skills while working to save the environment and provide crayons to other children at local hospitals.

Irving Primary School was one of the top 10 collecting schools per student, and will choose from one of three special STEM prizes donated by Bedtime Math: a drone, a 3D printer or a telescope. Nearly 75 elementary schools in 18 counties throughout New Jersey participated in the initiative, which ran June 6-10. More than 25,000 kids joined the effort, saving 5,000 pounds of crayons from the landfill.

“Every year, over 500,000 pounds of broken crayons are discarded in landfills across the country,” said Laura Overdeck, founder of Bedtime Math. “We not only rescued thousands of crayons from becoming non-biodegradable sludge, but we encouraged kids to think about math in a meaningful way. We’re proud of everyone who participated, especially Irving Primary School for their tremendous effort.”

As part of the event, kids counted, sorted and played fun math games with unwanted crayons they collected from their homes and classrooms. The Crayon Initiative will melt down the discarded crayons to manufacture new packs, which will be donated to 11 New Jersey children’s hospitals. These include the two local children’s hospitals: the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.

“The work we do has significant impact on communities nationwide,” said Bryan Ware, founder of The Crayon Initiative. “We’re helping the environment, and providing children with the tools to unlock their artistic potential through hospital arts’ programs. We want to congratulate our winners, and extend our thanks to Bedtime Math for partnering with us in this initiative.”



About Bedtime Math Foundation

Bedtime Math Foundation is a Summit-based nonprofit organization that seeks to put the fun and discovery back into learning math. Its core product is a zany online math problem that parents can do with their kids every day; a recent study from the University of Chicago showed that when families do Bedtime Math together, kids’ math skills improve by months. Bedtime Math is also the creator of Crazy 8s, a lively, hands-on after-school math club that has donated more than 6,000 club kits nationwide, serving more than 80,000 children. For more information, visit
About The Crayon Initiative
The Crayon Initiative is a Northern California-based nonprofit devoted to promoting the arts for children by providing them access to the resources they need. The group believes that in order to grow and learn, children need the freedom to be creative and express themselves through art. The Crayon Initiative organizes crayon collections of unwanted crayons, remanufactures them, and provides them to the hospitals that care for our kids. For more information, visit

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