BridgeWhiz is a new, free, online programme that teaches school children to play the mindsport bridge. This news item discusses their first successful year and their plans for year two. While it is based in North America, BridgeWhiz had students this year from Abu Dhabi, South Africa, and the UK. In fact, the UK has tripled its registration for Year II.
How did we do in our first year?
We graduated 420 kids ranging from 4th through 12th grades and have passed that information on to ACBL to issue Junior Memberships. Diplomas and BridgeWhiz lanyards went out to them all. Another 83 kids participated in the program to some degree, and they received certificates of participation. Our initial goal was 500 kids.
77 graduates enrolled in the online “Improver Class” to sharpen their bridge playing skills and learn more about the game, including conventions.
Rising 10th graders were the largest group of kids to graduate (87 kids), followed 9th (57 kids), then 11th (56 kids), and lastly 8th graders (54 kids).
Ontario, Canada led the pack with the number of graduates (97), followed by California (52), Washington (30), Texas (21), and Virginia (19). North Carolina and New Jersey tied at 14.
What’s in store for BridgeWhiz Year II?
Registration officially opens on August 1st. You’ll be able to enroll your child or grandchild through our brand-new website: www.BridgeWhiz.org , currently being built on a Learning Management System platform.
Our new site will ensure a smoother registration process, with short instructional videos for parents, a dynamic site for kids, shorter whiteboard time, more card-playing with other students and child-safe, direct access to The WhizKid Bridge Club.
We’ve added another 2000 schools to the 1000 PeachJar middle/high schools we reached last year, plus private schools and home-schooling parents. BridgeWhiz UK has expanded threefold, plus we’ve added 25 new teachers.
We will be offering an adult beginner bridge class for parents/guardians, so BridgeWhiz kids and their parents can play together in local face to face games.
Summer camp program registrations will be expanded to include all teachers who wish to run a summer camp.
YOU can help us build this program in your own community
We thought you might be interested in becoming part of our BridgeWhiz team. Some of you might be interested in becoming an online Teaching Assistant. TAs are volunteers whom we will train to do the following:
- Be listed as a co-host of the 8×8 (similar to Zoom) meeting and step in to launch the program in the event of a last-minute teacher emergency,
- Take attendance,
- Monitor the students in the waiting room in case they lose connection and have to rejoin,
- Help students log in to Shark (training provided here also),
- Monitor the “classroom” for any unacceptable behavior.
Fact: Many of this year’s new teachers were Teaching Assistants last year, and they’ll tell you the experience was truly rewarding, and the kids were delightful. You’ll also learn a lot!
Please contact Coach Al Bender at [email protected] and we’ll get you trained and set up with all the information you need for classes that will start in late October. If you’re ready to register, here is the link: https://forms.gle/yYFBoJ6he5ez9ovr5.
We hope all of you will be Bridge Ambassadors in your own community, and if you’re interested, we will send you digital flyers for posting on your club’s website, or for asking your regional newsletter editor to include in an upcoming edition.
We hope you’ll consider becoming a Teaching Assistant. Given the comments we’ve received from Teaching Assistants this year, we want you to experience this terrific program and be among those who send us wonderful comments in June of 2022.
To become a Teaching Assistant or a BridgeWhiz ambassador or Teaching Assistant, find more information at: https://www.acbleducationalfoundation.org and click on BridgeWhiz.