The game club starts


players and spectators
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

Our first try at a games day was a great success. Moomin’s homeroom teacher encouraged me to do this during lunch, and to come anytime, without the need for formal setup or approval.

I talked with the school librarian, who is there part-time. She has some puzzles and a chess set, and agreed to house whatever games I provide or can get from donations. I can have the games day there after school if I have arranged it with the office and there aren’t other activities scheduled. It sounds like the library is often full after school, with the special reading groups or something; the librarian herself is only paid for part time and so she leaves at 2:45.

The principal said that it sounds like a nice idea but “things are complicated right now” because he is trying to figure out how to implement some new program that i think is called the Healthy Kids Initiative. It’s an afterschool exercise program or maybe exercise and nutrition education combined, that someone on the PTA got special funding to develop. I don’t really know much about this project. I explained the basic idea of the Games Club and what I’m willing to do for it. (A lot.) So, there is no concrete answer or result, but since I’m not going to take no for an answer, we will see what happens.

The kids had a great time. I learned that since their experience with board games is not extensive, I need to supervise most of the games, remind about rules and whose turn it is, pretty much constantly. Jo Spanglemonkey’s daughter was good at leading games that she was in and I was proud of her leadership. With an after school club, we will get older kids who can play that role and who might be into tournaments or record keeping, so we can track winners. I also like the idea of writing up the club activities for the school newsletter. More things like that should happen… So I wrote up this games day in Spanish and English and sent it to the principal as well. Will he allow it to go into the Bulletin? I am doubting it. Again, we’ll see.

I expect there to be a lot of obstructionist foot-dragging… Screw that noise… Who’s your mama… etc.

The reaction of many of the kids was “WHAT? Moomin has all these games? They’re all his? How can that be possible? Does he know the rules to play them all? Really? Really really? How did he learn? Do you play games in your house, the whole family together? Really? No way. I wish I could. Do you speak Spanish? Can you teach my mom to play Parcheesi? Can we do this again?”

There was one boy who loves games already and knows how to play them; I hope I can rope him in. Plus, as I said, Jo’s daughter Sophie, who is short on patience but who understands all about big kid board games and can add 5+6 on dice without even thinking; a useful trait in Parcheesi.

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