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    For kids who don't always get the chance to play

    Day 190

    Some Indoor Fun

    It happens all the time. People make decisions intending to benefit as many other people as possible. It’s well-intentioned but it means that some smaller groups are regularly overlooked. That’s why we were so glad to talk with the teachers at Kabazana Primary School in Nakivale Refugee Settlement.

    When we asked other schools what play equipment or materials their students need, most teachers immediately thought of equipment such as uniforms, shoes, or updating the school’s play space – things that benefit most students. But at Kabazana Primary School, we heard something different. There we met Pauson, whose idea – along with other teachers – was to buy games for the special needs classroom.

    About 20 students, including boys and girls with both physical and mental disabilities, attend Kabazana Primary in a special classroom. Pauson was looking for memory and brain games that would be good for these students – effective at educating by promoting critical thinking and decision making, but that were also fun. “Their favorites are chess, ludo, snakes & ladders – games that are not so hectic” says Pauson. “Games are good for the students – it promotes their brains, helps them think creatively.”

    So today we visited Kabazana Primary to deliver the games we purchased – three sets each of a combo chess/checkers/drafts set, Ludo (a strategy game similar to Parcheesi), Scrabble, snakes & ladders, darts, and a Ping Pong table. We came during the lunch break and students swarmed the classroom where the games were set up. Even the teachers took a turn!

    Pauson was so happy to see so many students playing, he already has plans to discuss a timetable for classes to take turns in the game room so all students benefit. But he was grateful for the opportunity for the special needs students, too. “With these games, they are treated like other students” he says. “They see others play and can play games too. They know they are cared for.”

    Special thanks to Patricia Olson, Rick Woods, Sandy Hollischer and others for bringing fun and play to the special needs classroom at Kabazana Primary School.

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