‘Every time we meet it’s a fun day’

Board games provide a cool diversion after school

Katie Weiss, Leland Berman-Wright and Landon Benedict play the Exploding Kittens card game

Middle school teacher Kyle Anderson is fighting the winter blues one board game at a time.

New this year, the board game club at Grandville Middle School has 30 seventh and eighth grade student members, who stay after school to try new games with friends.

Board games are brought from home, donated from the Kent District Library or provided by the Grandville Education Foundation

The idea for the club started with Anderson’s own memories of playing board games in middle school, as well as a fun way for students to remain occupied during the slower winter months.

“I’ve met some of the kids in this club before, but there are also a lot of new students who are really excited about this idea,” Anderson said.

The board games used during club practices are either brought from home or donated from Kent District Library. The Grandville Education Foundation approved a grant for the Middle School board game club for $250 for game materials.

The grant proposal included survey data that pointed to seventh and eighth grade students who were not involved in extracurricular activities, and who might become involved with the new club, said foundation Executive Director Krashawn Martin.

“The board was impressed by the creative non-traditional games that the club would be exposing students to,” Martin said. “The club also fosters social connections and bonds between students with a bit of friendly competition.”

Katie Weiss and Leland Berman-Wright strategize their next move

Time to Play

For Katie Weiss, the board club game is a chance for her to try new games with other students who share her love for board games.

“It’s so much fun to come here,” she said. “Every time we meet it’s a fun day.”

One of Katie’s new favorite games is Exploding Kittens, a cut-throat card game introduced to her by Landon Benedict.

“This game is just so much fun, so I am excited to play it with other people,” he said. “I’ve tried a lot of new games here.”

The club was planned to run from January to spring break and was split into two sessions.

“We have snacks and drinks and just have a great time,” Anderson said. “It’s a really great chance for everyone to get to know each other.”

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Hannah Lentz
A 2017 graduate of Grand Valley State University and a lifelong teacher’s kid, Hannah Lentz has worked as a journalist in and outside the Grand Rapids area for more than five years. After serving as editor-in-chief at the GVSU student newspaper, Hannah interned at the Leelanau Enterprise where she learned a lot about community journalism. In addition to her work for School News Network, Hannah has worked as a freelance blogger in the furniture industry, focusing on design trends, and as a social media manager for World Medical Relief in Detroit. Read Hannah's full bio or email Hannah.

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