So a few months ago we decided it would be a good thing if we actually learned how to play Pokemon. We've been selling the cards for over three years and the kids in our town have been collecting them and hoarding them in boxes, or worse, all over their bedroom floors, unused except to trade with their friends. Now, I'm all for trading cards. It's fun and engaging and social. But it turns out the cards are actually USEFUL too! So a few staff and kids learned to play the game, including myself. Turns out...IT'S REALLY FUN!!! And we really wanted to share it with others. So we started a kids Pokemon League! We now get an average of 24 kids a week every Thursday Afternoon coming in to play the game.
I've seen several cool things result from this. The first is that kids that were quiet, shy and disconnected are coming out of their shells and becoming confident little trainers! This is VERY COOL! The second thing we have seen is some young leaders who have stepped up to help the younger players learn to play. And watching them help and guide kids as young as 5 or 6 in their first game is pretty darn awesome! And the third thing I've seen is that the older kids are learning skills to move into more complicated and strategic games like Magic the Gathering. I love seeing their brains work and grow and I love seeing the light bulb pop on when they "get it"!