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Student playing Candyland

A student counts spaces while playing Candyland in Summer School.

Teachers in the Extended School Year summer school program are bringing fun and games to classrooms. Instead of just using paper and pencil or chromebooks, teachers are shuffling the deck and having students play games such as Uno and Apples to Apples Jr.

The games help students develop skills in reading, writing, math, fine motor, language and decision making. Students also benefit from working together.

“The board games provide students of all ages a fun way to practice direction following, conflict resolution and communication skills with their peers while playing a game,” said Special Education Teacher Nancy Garcia.

This project started when Mrs. Garcia posted on a Castleton Facebook page asking if anyone had board games they were willing to part with so they could be used at summer school. One of the group’s members, James McAuliffe, replied and offered to donate money to buy brand new games. He recruited some friends and family, and together, they donated $550.

“My mom raised me to help others,” said Mr. McAuliffe, who grew up in Castleton and graduated from Maple Hill High School in 2007. “My son has autism so kids with special needs have a place in my heart. I wanted to do whatever I could to help out.”

Last week the summer school program purchased 36 board games and began using them in class.

Now when students take a break from class to play a game, they keep on learning – whether they are counting spaces in Chutes and Ladders, spelling words in Scrabble Jr. or moving blocks in Jenga.

Special thanks to our generous donors – James McAuliffe, Proper Painting; Nick Goyer, Capital City Painting; Joe Melius, Mirror Image Protective Coatings; and Brandon Chapman, BMC Construction – for helping us purchase the following board games!

  • 5 Second Rule
  • Apples to Apples Jr.
  • Battleship
  • Blokus
  • Boggle
  • Brainflakes
  • Candyland
  • Chutes and Ladders 
  • Clumsy Thief
  • Code Names
  • Connect Four
  • Don’t Break the Ice
  • Guess Who
  • High Ho Cherry O
  • Jenga
  • Just One
  • Life
  • Perfection
  • Pixie Cubes
  • Point Salad
  • Pop the Pig
  • Pop Up Pirate
  • Proof!
  • Racko
  • Rush Hour
  • Scattergories
  • Scrabble Jr
  • Scrambled States of USA 
  • Sequence
  • Sequence for Kids
  • Sorry
  • Twister Shapes
  • Twister Ultimate
  • Uno
  • Upwords
  • Yahtzee