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Somerville Middle School Takes Time Out for Old-Fashioned Fun 'n' Games

An intense chess match in the cafeteria of the Somerville Middle School during Game Night. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Somerville Middle School STEM teacher Diana Baccash and a student play Jenga. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Student Council advisor Freddie Shaker rolls up his sleeves for a chess match. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Jenga was one of the more popular games at Game Night. Credits: Rod Hirsch
An intense game of Jenga in the Somerville Middle School cafeteria. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Somerville Middle School students in the cafeteria during Game Night. Credits: Rod Hirsch
From left, Somerville Middle School teachers Diana Baccash, Freddie Shaker and Alyssa Breeman join in the fun at Game Night. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Game Night in the cafeteria at Somerville Middle School. Credits: Rod Hirsch

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerville Middle School Student Council took time out after school this week for some "old school" fun in the cafeteria.

Students were invited to join the Student Council for two hours of friendly competition playing chess, checkers, cards, Monopoly and other classic board games.

"Game Night" was conceived, planned and coordinated by the Student Council officers, according to math teacher Freddie Shaker, advisor to the Student Council along with Alyssa Breeman, who teaches physical education and health.

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Other teachers sat at the tables playing games with their students, including Dianna Baccash, the school's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) specialist, and Olivia Edelman, 7th grade Language Arts teacher.

Other teachers provided games from home for the children to play.

"We like to get the students to interact with each other, and especially their teachers in a setting outside the classroom," Shaker explained. "It helps the students to get to know their teachers better as 'people,'  which helps translate into better classroom performance," he added.

Game Night also featured slices of pizza and juice boxes.

Students who participated were asked to bring a donation of food or personal care items, which will be given to local food banks.

"We want our students to learn the value of 'giving back'," Shaker said.

The Student Council schedules after-school activities each month, according to Shaker.

In December, the Student Council will host a showing of the Christmas movie "Home Alone," with fifth-graders from the Van Derveer School invited guests; they'll move on to the Middle School after graduation in 2018.

"We thought it would be a good idea to give the Van Derveer students a preview of what's to come," Shaker said.

In January, the Student Council will host a dance for all 6th-, 7th- and 8th-graders.



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