Ryan Stripling
United States
Lowell
Arkansas
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The high school I teach at is starting an after-school enrichment program for at-risk teens, and I wanted to reach out to the geek for two things: advice and hopefully a few board game donations (or advice on where to seek these).

The program lasts two hours for four days a week, one hour of tutoring and one hour of enrichment activities. The goal of this is to provide disadvantaged students with the assistance they need to succeed and a group of people—both peers and adults—with whom they can feel a sense of community. The teens who will be enrolled face a range of difficulties. Some face food insecurity at home (for this reason a light, healthy meal is provided); others are in danger of failing out; and still others go home to appalling home lives. Our hope is that this program would provide support during this critical time in their lives.

I offered my services for both tutoring and enrichment. For enrichment, it was easy for me to settle on two passions I could share with the enrollees: creative writing (I’m writing a young adult fantasy novel, and I teach a creative writing class at the high school) and of course board games.

So, first I wanted to reach out to you all, my beloved geek community, for advice. What sort of games should I bring for these teens?

Before you respond, consider a few restraining factors:
-First, it looks like I and two other adults will be in charge of roughly forty teens at a time. As such, games that scale well and don’t have too steep of a learning curve would be best.
-The games need to be high school appropriate, so no Tanto Cuore or Cards against Humanity or games along those lines. Additionally, games like Cash ‘n Guns would be a bad idea.
-We will only have around an hour for enrichment, and sometimes less, so games need to play in under or around an hour.
-Most of these students will be unfamiliar with games beyond the classic Parker Bros, so the games shouldn’t be too convoluted mechanics-wise.

Here were the games I was thinking of requesting:
-Codenames
-Settlers of Catan
-Resistance
-King of Tokyo
-Stone Age
-Ticket to Ride
-Pandemic
-Sorry Sliders
-A few classics

Do any of these seem like a bad idea? Can you think of some others that would be good for this program? Any and all suggestions would be welcome!

Additionally, if you would consider donating one of these games, that would be wonderful! Just PM me if you’re interested.

Thanks!

-ryanjamal
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Naomi Ooooooooo

Alaska
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Easy to play small number games would probably work too....

Sushi Go
Love Letter (Bat Man or Adventure Time goes over well with students)
Brave Rats
Onitama
Battle Sheep,...
Gravwell
Rumble in the Dungeon (House... or the Cthulu one that just came out) Welcome to the Dungeon
Zombie Dice
Machi Koro
Mad Gab
Wits and Wagers (with lots of students can be adapted)
Karuba
Dixit

and Codenames Pictures, Potion Explosion, Imagine, Oceana, and Lotus look very promising though I haven't tried them yet... Sorry I can't be sending any as the best ones on this list are being used in my classroom for basically the same purpose.

Also, Roll for America, Rolling Japan and Qwix are good to get rolling. Ha... they are a fun start. I gave out dice and Qwix rules my first meeting for the students to take home.
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Tavendale
Scotland
Thurso
Caithness
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I run a games club that doubles as a social skills group for my autistic pupils. The idea is that it's a wider club that anyone from the school can attend, but there are a group of autistic pupils who are there specifically for social skills work.

Here is my plan for them:

http://hitsomebody.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gamegrid.p...

I put together the grid as part of a review, hence the references with each game and the mention of "intelligences", as I make reference to the theory of multiple intelligences. I don't necessarily agree with this theory, but it's a useful thought-tool.

It doesn't quite match the stuff you're looking for, but it gives an idea of what we're using here in the northernmost tip of mainland Scotland
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Naomi Ooooooooo

Alaska
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I hear writing to the publishers (and game stores in your area) works. I live by no-one (Alaska) and already had quite a collection of my own... I have had grants in another school for games connected to a math program.
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Kevin Keefe
United States
Kettering
Ohio
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Try emailing or writing some publishers. I run a game club in a school that's predominately lower income, and I've had moderate luck with emailing publishers and telling about the club and asking for donations. I've gotten donations from Rio Grande and Mayfair, and well-wishes and promises from North Star and Asmodee (but no games).
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Ryan Stripling
United States
Lowell
Arkansas
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Awesome, I'll take that route. And thanks to all who have chimed in! Much appreciated! (And if others are wanting to chime in, please continue to do so, as this will be an ongoing effort)

-ryanjamal
 
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Brett Bontrager
United States
Mancelona
Michigan
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I am an After School Director and was wondering if you could give me an example of what you put into the letter you sent to game companies. Thank you for any advice you can give.
 
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Kevin Keefe
United States
Kettering
Ohio
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Here's the one I used.

Quote:
Hello. My name is Kevin Keefe, and I am a high school teacher in Xenia, Ohio. I am the advisor for a card and board gaming club here at Xenia High School. We are a lower income district, and the school doesn’t have any extra money to funnel my way for purchasing games. So far, we have used mostly my own games for many years and have taken donations from previous members. Because of this, our games are taking a beating. It’d also be nice to have some newer games in our repertoire.

I’ve been on BoardGameGeek.com for some time, and other educators and librarians on there often recommend asking some of the big publishers for material help. Is there any kind of grant or discount program you may have for educational groups or clubs? It would be great to get some kind of support for the club. My contact information is below.
Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,



Hope it helps.
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Brett Bontrager
United States
Mancelona
Michigan
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Thank you very much.
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