May 03, 2006
Nationwide Educational Program Launched In Greenport
"Cocoa Puffs never are white." "Water never evaporates."
|Independent / Lisa Finn
Fourth graders at Greenport Elementary School teamed up to play Sentence Says, a new educational program. (click for larger version)|
Amidst much giggling and enthusiastic cheering, fourth graders at Greenport Elementary School worked as teams last week to create sentences such as these and compete in the new Sentence Says game challenge, a pilot educational program making its debut in the village.
The students were chosen to help launch the brand-new program designed to hone skills, empower children through language, and promote learning through fun in Greenport.
Judging by the excitement amongst the kids who played the game for the first time on the lawn outside the school last Thursday, every player will emerge a winner.
Sentence Says incorporates skill-building opportunities including sentence structure, grammar, parts of speech, oral communication, vocabulary, dictionary skills, cooperative learning, computation, sportsmanship, and creative thinking. It also provides chances for in-person and Internet game challenges, competitions, curriculum plans for educators and options for after-school programs.
"Sentence Says is all about kids communicating and getting excited about learning," said Sherry F. Martin, CEO and co-founder of MarBan Industries, Inc, which manufactures the game.
Sentence Says, which will be launched in 10 pilot markets this year in locations including Greenport, New York City, Boston, Massachusetts, Charlotte, North Carolina, Greenville, South Carolina, Indianapolis, Indiana, Los Angeles, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Olympia, Washington, has already scored big points.
"Habits developed from repeated play could help in the improvement of basic oral communication skills," said Carolyn Gershovich of the Parents' Choice Foundation.
Charles Kozora, superintendent of Greenport Schools, said although he has never played the game, he is eager to learn. "It has the potential to increase literacy and vocabulary," he said.
Sentence Says is designed for two to six players or teams from ages seven and up and has received an array of industry accolades.
Teamwork is a plus when playing the game, and, said fourth grade teacher Stephen Kohl, "It makes them think creatively."
At last week's launch, CEO of MarBan Industries was on hand to cheer on the kids and present Kozora and teachers with a signed copy of the game.
"I have been totally inspired by Sentence Says," said Yvonne Lieblein, CEO and president of liebleinassociates, the Greenport-based marketing firm handling program development. "My daughter, Schuyler, and I have played the game extensively, and I have watched her become more empowered with every round." And, added Lieblein, "There's lots of laughter involved."
But perhaps the highest praise comes from the kids. "Sometimes it gets hard," said Brandi Gonzales, 9, who said she loved playing the game.
Fellow fourth grader Sandy Montolya agreed. "I like making sentences. It's fun."