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“The Game of Life” the Basis for New OH Club

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Imagine a world where one travels through all the stages of life in less than an hour. Where is such a place? The answer lies within a board game (or app) called “The Game of Life.” Numerous students at Olympic Heights will now be transported into this imaginative, but also seemingly realistic universe.

This school year, OH has added a new club to its diverse collection: The Game of Life Club. In it, students will play “The Game of Life” board game to learn vital life skills that are necessary for a successful future, and they will also perform some of these activities in real life.

The game itself, which was originally created in 1860 by Milton Bradley, simulates a person’s travels through his or her life, from college to retirement, with jobs, marriage, and potential children along the journey. Members of this club are going to pick a desired career and follow it throughout the year; they will then be educated on how to perform similar tasks in the game that would carry a real person throughout his or her life.

The club was created by juniors Brea Beardsley and Marisol Gonzales. “We were inspired to create this club because schools only teach you to be book smart,”            Club president Beardsley explains. “They don’t teach you how to live successfully out in the real world and deal with real problems.”

OH Spanish teacher Mrs. Margaret Sclafani is the sponsor of this unique club. She is very excited about its possibilities in shaping the lives of students, which is why she decided to make this dream become a reality by supporting the new organization. Sclafani describes, “When Brea Beardsley, the club’s president approached me with her idea of this club and asked me to be the sponsor, I thought it was a phenomenal idea for a club and couldn’t resist.”

Unfortunately, results from a multi-year College and Career Readiness survey of 165,000 high school students conducted by YouthTruth, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, found that 55 percent of students feel negative about their college and career readiness. The Guardian also reported that “more than a quarter of 20 to 34-year-olds are still living with their parents-the highest proportion since 1996.” Another study found that one in three university students cannot even boil an egg.

The goal of this club is to teach students functional life skills they will require after high school that are not taught in school. Students in this day of technology have become so absorbed in their devices (and for some students their school work or extracurricular activities) that they have neglected learning about important life skills such as cooking, managing a credit card account, filling out college applications, writing a resume, balancing a checkbook, or even changing a tire.

“We will be learning so many things this year including managing credit cards, job interviews, buying a house, insurance, basic cooking, and saving money,” Beardsley asserts. “Members will get jobs and paychecks, and have situations that are good and bad thrown their way, so they can learn how to deal with them.”

Sclafani hopes that this club “will provide students with an opportunity to learn life skills and things that aren’t necessarily taught in a traditional classroom setting.” As a teacher, she noticed how many intelligent students can understand typical subjects like mathematics, science, and history, but they have trouble performing everyday tasks because they have never been taught them.

Overall, adolescents who aspire for a successful career and incredible future in adulthood must learn basic life skills. This club is designed to prepare students for the real world outside of textbooks. Hopefully, “The Game of Life” will serve its purpose of informing players on “how to succeed in life no matter where they land.”

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“The Game of Life” the Basis for New OH Club