More Literacy Games Bundles for Hartlepool!

People’s Meeples are delighted to announce that they’ve been given funding for ANOTHER 60 Literacy Game Bundles! Gamers@Hart provide the games (at cost price) and support the distribution of games to schools. You may know People’s Meeples from the weekly Autism Friendly nights they ran in tea@Hart (as we were known then).

We know that many children have suffered disadvantage throughout lockdown – not just educationally, but socially. Parents and carers have suffered, not only with their own lockdown struggles, but with ‘guilt’ of ‘not doing enough’ for their kids, and everyone talking about pupils needing to ‘catch up’.

There’s groups of people saying ‘children do need help to catch up in their education’, but there’s other people saying ‘first we need to focus on wellbeing, mental health, and social development of children’.

“If only”, we thought, “there was a way to do both – to provide structured activities that don’t feel ‘educational’ but support the development of skills learnt in school, while socialising with other people, where the main aim is having fun…” of course, we knew the answer was in tabletop games.

Back when we had a games library (sad face), we spent last spring and summer trying to combat boredom at home with the free lending of games! And over Easter we ran a virtual holiday club using games and cooking activities at home.

But in Lockdown 3, we saw evidence that children’s literacy was particularly affected by time off school – particularly those from families that are already disadvantaged. And, because of the general inequalities we see across the country, Hartlepool is particularly affected by this.

So People’s Meeples self-funded the first 30 boxes, then thanks to generous donations on our GoFundMe campaign and advice from HartlePower we gained another 10 boxes, then the Tees Valley Community Foundation provided funding for a further 30, and last week we heard that Thirteen Homes and The Hadrian Trust had provided funding for another 30 each!

In total, we’ve fundraised over £4400 for local families!

These boxes will be ready to distribute via local schools before the May half term – and families are invited to a virtual ‘how to play’ evening, and each box comes with resources to help families get the most out of the games.

The games we provide are all focussed on reading comprehension, and include: Braggart, Story Cubes, Dice Academy, and Just One.

What’s Next?

People’s Meeples are discussing what activities we could run, and find funding for, over the summer as lockdown ends.

Gamers@Hart are hoping to run another holiday club over summer, and will be talking to the local authority about this possibility when the new local councillors are in place.