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YOUNGSTOWN Game teaches about Sept. 11



Published: Fri, May 3, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The game is being sold to raise funds for the YMCA, NAACP and victims of the terrorist attacks.

By JoANNE VIVIANO

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Corinthia Carter learned something about the World Trade Center attacks Thursday, something she hadn't heard before.

"These two men were on the 68th floor and there was this woman in a wheelchair," she said. "I didn't know they carried her down."

Corinthia, 11, a Boardman Center Middle School fifth-grader, heard the story as she played the "America Rises" board game with other pupils at the YMCA.

The YMCA plans to raise funds for local children and for Sept. 11 victims by selling copies of the trivia game invented by Youngstown native Ricky Robinson.

Through the "Helping Hands Fund-Raiser," the YMCA receives $7.50 from the sale of each $25 game. An additional $3 goes to the Twin Towers Orphans Fund.

Bob Zajack, membership director at the YMCA, said the fund-raiser will allow the organization to provide memberships to youngsters and families who need financial assistance.

"We think this is a great way to keep Sept. 11 in the minds of the public and the students, so we don't forget about what happened on 9/11," he said.

The game's inventor

Robinson, as a boy, spent countless hours at the YMCA. He said it exposed him to camps, basketball games, volunteer work and the opportunity to meet successful professional role models.

A Cardinal Mooney High School graduate, Robinson lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., and is president of the Clubsmarts educational firm. He invented the flag-emblazoned game and wrote all the questions, which fall into five categories: Acts of Kindness, A Nation Heals, Our Tragedy, Defending Freedom and Heroic Deeds.

He said he came up with the idea in the days after the attacks.

"It was a tragic moment but, at the same time, a touchable moment and a teachable moment. I felt it was something that needed to be told in such a way that we could learn from the experience," he said.

Besides the YMCA, Robinson said, the local chapter of the NAACP will sell the games as a fund-raiser.

He said he plans to take the game across the country and offer it to Scouting groups, boys and girls clubs and other organizations that work with children.

As pupils played the game Thursday, they learned about patriotic acts, the Taliban, the General Motors "Keep America Rolling" campaign, and the director of homeland security.

They also learned that the New York Mets donated a day's pay -- a total of $500,000 -- to victims funds.

Reviews

Center Middle School fifth-grader Rachel Gronvall, 10, said she learned more about anthrax and what she should do if she thinks she finds it.

"I like it," said Paige Donatelli, 10. "You learn a lot while you're playing and it's fun."

Seventh-grader Phanecia Carter, 14, said she knew a lot of answers, but there were also a lot she did not know.

"I'm learning more than I do in school," she said. "I think some teachers should also play this game so they can also learn as much."

"I think it's educational, especially if we don't want to forget what happened," said Danielle Gonda, 13. "It can help us think about what happened and how we can prevent it."

For information on the fund-raiser, contact the YMCA at (330) 744-8411 or the NAACP at (330) 782-9777.




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