Useful guidelines for BRIDGE PROJECTS in SCHOOLS
How to get STARTED
This extract from an interesting discussion taking place on the BRIDGEWINNERS site nicely highlights a frustrating problem:
"...Getting bridge included in the curriculum, however, is an entirely different undertaking. I think California's requirements are quite similar to what Peg describes for Minnesota. We have a few people involved in SiVY who might qualify, but very few.
The problem with after-school programs is that the kids don't play often enough to retain what they learn. (My high school bridge club meets at most every two weeks, often only once every three weeks.) Thus, they don't progress, and they eventually lose interest.
No solutions seem obvious to me. SiVY has managed to introduce quite a large number of kids to bridge, through after-school bridge classes and monthly pizza parties. The number who are still playing the game three or four years later, though, is fairly small."
And here is what I was prompted to post in response:
"Lynn hit the nail right on the head. Not enough children or qualified teachers to keep the practise sessions regular - and often miles from a bridge club or from each other. But there is in fact a solution.
I made it work in a community of only 70,000. An island where not one local person had aver heard of the game of bridge, let alone played it.
I started by persuading a friendly headmaster to let me give a demonstration for ALL children 5 to 11 (in turns) at school. The school then sent out a mail to all the parents of the 300 students to expound the academic benefits of bridge. Meanwhile I had picked out the mathematically minded (which requires only a five minute test with a pack of cards and a bidding box!) and gave them a crash four week course in the lunchbreaks or after school. Never more than 30 minutes per session. A total of no more than 5 hours bridge tuition each and word got round the entire Thai community that bridge is better than maths in school. All the ones who play bridge have seen startling improvements in their exam results in every subject. Mainly due to the fact that they are forced to concentrate to retain a competitive edge at the bridge table. In turn, improved concentration and powers of logic give them more time to successfully complete their exam papers.
I make sure all new pupils have at least four lessons within two weeks of being introduced to the game. Enough time to fully outline the entire game. If the kiddies are too young to understand, I show the parents. Get them through that critical first fortnight, follow the guidelines below, and you shouldn't lose any students thereafter.
Ironically, I no longer teach at school. I teach them at the ACES club which never existed on this island before I came. And I spend around six hours a day travelling within a radius of just 10 miles to teach approximately 10 pupils daily in their own homes. In groups of three or four in the same neighbourhood. This routine guarantees that most parents take an interest - and also encourages them to help their kiddies practise after I leave. Mums and dads now want to join the club as well!"