After School Scrabble Clubs Match Up In Tournament

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia non-profit organization dedicated to keeping kids safe, active and engaged after school hosted a scrabble tournament at the parkway central library today.

After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP) organized 82 scrabble clubs last year with 1,200 students playing weekly in schools, libraries, and recreation centers.

Tanzinayia Benson, 12, is among 6 kids in the Kingsessing rec center’s club. She says scrabble is more than a board game to her.

“Before I joined this program I was just staying at home, chilling, not doing my home work, watching TV,” Benson says. “Now I’m doing my homework, I’m getting good grades and stuff playing scrabble.”

14-year-old Liam Hart is a 9th grader at Science Leadership Academy. He holds the tile bag behind him so he can't possibly see what he is picking. (Credit: John McDevitt)

14-year-old Liam Hart is a 9th grader at Science Leadership Academy. He holds the tile bag behind him so he can’t possibly see what he is picking. (Credit: John McDevitt)

Earl Joseph is the scrabble coordinator for ASAP. “For a school kid, scrabble helps with vocabulary, with spelling, and with defining,” Joseph says. “It also helps with critical thinking skills because scrabble is more than just making a word. It’s about positioning and making sure your opponent can’t necessarily benefit off of making your word.”

Besides scrabble, ASAP runs drama, debate, and chess after-school programs.

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