L-R: SB Mentoring team Angela Ferro and Trendan practice their foosball skills to get ready for the annual Spring Celebration on May 7.

Board Games Inspire In SB Mentoring

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Thursday April 30, 2015

“Just by virtue of playing them, board games can teach important social skills, such as communicating verbally, sharing, waiting, taking turns, and enjoying interaction with others.” ~ Scholastic Books

Trendan Penniman, a fifth-grade student at Chamberlin School, and his SB Mentoring mentor Angela Ferro, a nurse and mother of two young adult daughters, love board games. Monopoly, Sorry, Stratego, Othello: they play them all. And they also add their own creative flair.

“We’ve played games from day one,” recalled Ms. Ferro, now in her fourth year of a mentoring friendship with Trendan. “Mentoring has been a wonderful experience, and we’ve really bonded through games.”

“They’re fun,” noted Trendan, when asked what he enjoyed about board games. “And they do teach you: Stratego teaches you about numbers, and math games can teach you about fractions.”

The creative flair of their board game playing involves “Trendan rules,” initially created because “I don’t like to lose,” Trendan admitted with a smile.

“What I love about his creative approach,” added Ms. Ferro, “is that I know Trendan wants to win, but he’s always very kind. In Monopoly, he will give me money so that I will win. He’s a compassionate winner.”

Ms. Ferro proudly noted that Trendan also has brought his creativity to other endeavors at Chamberlin School. His artwork has been in several school art shows, including the SB Mentoring Art Show at Barnes and Noble this past January, and he has been writing for his school newspaper since last year. “I wanted to try out writing for the newspaper,” the young journalist explained, “because I like to write.”

As SB Mentoring heads into its final weeks for the school year, Trendan is most looking forward to spending time with his mentor – whom he describes as “a fun person” – at the annual Spring Celebration held this year on May 7. “I think you ask me every week about the Spring Celebration,” noted Ms. Ferro, while Trendan nodded and added, “I like the ping pong and the Wii Olympics.”

When asked, Trendan stated, “I would recommend SB Mentoring to my friends,” while Ms. Ferro concluded, “My favorite part of being a mentor is playing games and connecting with a child who also loves to play games. It’s fun. And it fills my heart.”

For further information on SB Mentoring, please contact coordinator Susie Merrick at smerrick@sbschools.net.

SOURCE: Susie Merrick, Contributor