Thursday, November 17, 2011

School kids discover the magic of bridge

Above: The cover story for the DeSoto county version of The Commercial Appeal is about bridge.

I stopped at a store today and happened to notice the front page of the area newspaper: bridge! Not only bridge, but bridge for elementary-school students, yes! Bridge has a reputation as a game for old people, so I love to see youngsters taking up the game.

The American Contract Bridge League has programs to teach bridge in elementary and high schools. The typical set-up is for local bridge players to ask to teach bridge outside of regular classes as an enrichment program.

ACBL Marketing Department staffers, Vicki Campbell and Darbi Southers, have come up with a better plan: Teach the Teachers. At the beginning of the school year, they contacted school teachers and offered to teach them bridge. Teachers who were interested came to Horn Lake MS, site of the ACBL Headquarters, for a workshop. Teachers gained skills to be able to teach the students. The program is called Youth4Bridge.

More than 30 students at a local elementary school are participating, and they are excited. "The best part is playing against your friends," fifth-grader Kayla Farmer said.

The young player makes a good point: Bridge has a social aspect to it. You are only as good as your partner and you're playing against other humans, not a computer.

"A lot of kids have fun ... pressing buttons on the video games," said fourth-grader Adrian Mills. "This (bridge) is a game where you actually have to think, and it helps reasoning," he said.

You can read the newspaper article here.

You can read more about the Youth4Bridge program if you click here.


  1. I've never learned to play bridge, and I'm too old to do it now, but I think getting real cards in the hands of kids instead of video games is a huge step in the right direction.

  2. Mojo,

    Just stopping by to say your blog is one of the few I still read nearly every entry of. Also, I'm a middle school teacher and can't help but want to teach my students bridge. Middle school seems like the perfect age to teach bridge--they can understand some of the more complex aspects of card games, and they are fiercely competitive with their friends (and foes!).


  3. @MGH: Thanks for your comment and your kind words.

  4. No, Lowell, you are NOT too old, I would guess. I write a blogezine about playing sociable bridge at I include a section on Nonagenarians(I'm 91 myself) who play bridge and wrote one such blog about a centenarian who has just died who didn't LEARN TO PLAY UNTIL SHE HIT 87!! So it's never too late.

    I love the idea of playing bridge in school as well, and if you know bridge history, that was common back in the 20s. Only thing is, back then (from wht I know writing a book about bridge) it was kind of sociable. For SURE it was a social skill one had to learn at college to get into dorm or sorority social life.

    True there were serious competitive bridge clubs at colleges back then, but please--even at the elementary level--if you have kids inteested inlearning to play just for fun--let them for gosh sakes!

    There are FAR FAR more sociable bridge players (like me) than there are serious players. It's a hobby once learned that lasts a lifetime. May even help you reach 90 or 100 dementia free!!!