–by Jeff Bateman
The Sooke Play and Learn Summer Literacy Camp will again be the fundraising focus of the EMCS Society’s third SCRABBLE tournament and silent auction, Sunday, April 23 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Edward Milne Community School.
Fans of the world’s leading board game are invited to participate in a knock-out tournament won by Wilf Wenzel in 2015 and Lynda Valentine last year. Entry fee for the BYOB&D (bring your own board and dictionary) tourney is $10. Competitors are asked to register in advance by phone (250.642.6371) or email (email@example.com). Last-minute registrants are also welcome at the door on April 23.
New this year will be a family area featuring a variety of other popular board games, some supplied by the games enthusiasts at The Uncommon Carrot. Players of all ages are invited to drop-in free of charge for the impromptu fun. Everyone present will be welcome to bid on a choice array of auction items assembled again this year by long-time EMCS supporters and Stick in the Mud Coffee Shop “Squabble” regulars Anne Boquist and Diane Kent.
Literacy is an appropriate fundraising focus for the tournament. SCRABBLE is renowned for its ability to develop vocabulary, spelling, math and spatial relations skills in players.
For its part, the EMCS Society’s Play & Learn Summer Camp pairs experienced School District #62 teachers with vulnerable Sooke youngsters aged six-to-nine who need extra help with their literacy and numeracy skills as well as the A-B-Cs of physical coordination (i.e., agility, balance and control).
The seventh annual camp is set for Sooke Elementary in July and will again hopefully serve several dozen local students. While major funding has so far been secured this year from the Sooke Literacy Task Group, Telus Fibre Optic and the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, it’s always a squeeze to cover program costs and the SCRABBLE tournament helps in its small way.
Private donors and local businesses have pitched in generously over the years, and donations to the Play and Learn Camp are again warmly welcomed. It costs approximately $1000 per student — or $250 per week — for the camp’s full month-long run. Donations will cover the cost of supplies, field trip costs, snacks and lunch for the campers, and teacher wages. Charitable receipts are available through the Edward Milne Community School Society.