Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



By night's end, all 167 families who particpated received (or will receive) a board game of their choice

COURTESY OF HAZELDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - Isaac Austin, right, a kindergartner at Hazeldale Elementary School, plays Spot it! with his father and sister during Family Game Night held Nov.  19 at the school.Hazeldale Elementary School's first Family Game Night turned out to be an overwhelming success, drawing 167 families and 530 guests, all of them eager to play a variety of familiar (and for some, not familiar) board games.

“It was great,” said Principal Angela Tran. “We always do family night but this was the first time we’ve done family game night.”

Tran said the evening of Nov. 19 kicked off with a pizza party before jumping into 1 1/2 hours of playing such favorite board games as Monopoly, Candyland, Say Anything (family edition), Apples to Apples Junior, Hedbanz, Qwirkle, Hoot Owl Hoot and Spot it!

While Monopoly, Candyland and Hedbanz were particularly popular with older students, the younger students liked the many of the other games, she pointed out.

The board games were purchased with federal Title 1 program funding, which provides financial assistance to schools with high numbers of children from low-income families.

“All our certified staff were there,” said Tran, who modeled Family Game Night after an evening event held at William Walker Elementary School last year.

Tran, who is in her sixth year at Hazeldale, said board games provide problem-solving, thinking and memory skills.

Tran said families were asked to try out three board games before finally settling on a favorite. “Every family got to take home a game,” she said. “We gave out 167 games — one per family.”

That translated to roughly 15 each from the eight board game titles played by Hazeldale families. Although the school ran out of games to take home, something Tran predicted might happen, a back-order of games will ensure that every family will receive the game of their choice, she said.COURTESY OF HAZELDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - Keith Culbert, left, an English as a second language teacher, plays a board game with (clockwise) kindergartner Aya Khoshnaw, third-grader Leann Al-Musawi and two unidentified students during Family Game Night held Nov. 19 at Hazeldale Elementary School.

At the end of the evening, 82 families filled out comment cards; some liked the night because of the feeling of community they encountered, as well as enjoying the interaction with family members; and many said they planned on adding a family game night to their weekly activity list.

Meanwhile, students and their families also participated in a book swap where hundreds of books were distributed. While the goal was to bring in a book and trade it for another book, Tran said no student went home without a book.

“It’s just a nice way to get books to kids,” she said.

By the end of the evening, 200 more people had attended this year’s program than had come to last January’s family night, which focused on math and literacy.

Teachers said they enjoyed Hazeldale’s Family Game Night as well.

Jennifer DeMartino, a Hazeldale kindergarten teacher, said it was a fun evening.

“I loved looking at the faces of the kids while they were learning a new game with their families and friends,” she said.

“There was so much joy and they were so engaged in talking to one another.”

Carolyn Uzzle, a resource room teacher, agreed.

“It was wonderful to see so many parents attend game night with their children and be actively engaged with the games offered at Hazeldale,” she said. “The children loved playing the games and were excited to take one game home that they had played that evening.”

Jen Devlin, a first-grade teacher, said she enjoyed seeing families interacting and laughing together.

“It is so important to develop community and Family Game Night was the chance to foster relationships; families played among themselves and with other families.”

Go to top
JSN Time 2 is designed by | powered by JSN Sun Framework