Parks Afterschool Scrabble Champions Compete in Citywide Tournament
How do you spell F-U-N?
There was no fooling the 36 Afterschool children who came to the Arsenal Gallery on April 1st to compete in the inaugural Citywide Afterschool SCRABBLE Tournament, co-sponsored by the National SCRABBLE Association. There were three age divisions: 6-8, 9-10, and 11-13 and children were paired up in teams of two. In order to compete in this tournament, each team won their borough-wide SCRABBLE event.
Once the games were in progress, the Gallery was fairly quiet. Both children worked together to come up with the best play as a team, whispering possible plays to their partners. Each turn was an opportunity to score high and either expand or confine the configuration of words on the board.
Many of the children tried to memorize as much of SCRABBLE’S Cool Words to Know list as possible before the competition. This list includes two-letter words (aa), “vowel dumps” (beau), q-without-u words (qat), short z words (zyme), and words that use two u’s (juju) that could yield high points and/or falsely lure your opponent into challenging the play. Cindy Caruso, Citywide Afterschool and Summer Camp Coordinator, was impressed by the skills exhibited by the children competing. “I am very proud of the teams who worked hard to get to this point so they can represent their Recreation Center and compete in the citywide event,” she said.
John Williams, Jr., executive director of the National SCRABBLE Association, was on hand to help officiate by looking up words in the SCRABBLE dictionary every time a team challenged the opposition’s play. If the word appeared in the SCRABBLE dictionary, then the challenging team lost a turn, but if the word did not, then the team that made that play lost a turn. He was there not just as a judge, but to make sure the children were having fun and getting the most out of the game. He touts SCRABBLE as more than just a game about spelling – it improves math, vocabulary, concentration, memory and spatial skills.
The National SCRABBLE Association also donated prizes for the tournament. Every player received an Afterschool SCRABBLE Certificate (signed by John Williams Jr. and Assistant Commissioner Nancy Barthold) and a gift bag containing a SCRABBLE dictionary, bookmark, magnet, newsletter and a Cool Words to Know sheet. Other prizes included SCRABBLE Apple, SCRABBLE Slam, SCRABBLE metal water bottles, SCRABBLE mouse pads, SCRABBLE dictionaries, professional tiles, Bob’s Bible (SCRABBLE Book), and Travel SCRABBLE.
And the winners are:
6-8 yr old Category
1st - Annabella Jagroup and Kiara Santos (Chelsea Rec Center)
2nd - Tatiana Brown and Michael Infante (Hunt's Point Rec Center)
3rd - Tyrese Odutayo and Tyrell Odutayo (Cromwell Rec Center)
9-10 yr old Category
1st - Brandon Aboua and Shawn Salick (Sorrentino Rec Center)
2nd - Baria Roberts and Vincent Rodriguez (Chelsea Rec Center)
3rd - Joseph Martinez and Shardae Gilchrist (St. James Rec Center)
11-13 yr old Category
1st - Raymond Morrison and Dakotah Rodgers (Vic Hanson Rec Center)
2nd - Quinton Verneuil and Ines Anguiano (Brownsville Rec Center)
3rd - Meagan Swithers and Jacky Lao (Greenbelt Rec Center)
Highest Scoring Play
6-8 yr old – Imani Lynch and Isabel Anguiano (Brownsville)
9-10 yr old – Brandon Aboua and Shawn Salick (Sorrentino)
11- 13 yr old – Meagan Swithers and Jacky Lao (Greenbelt)
SCRABBLE will be offered in Parks’ Summer Camps and continued to be offered in next year’s Afterschool Program.
Written by Adrienne Meryl
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”
(1900 – 1978)