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Fargo students' cardboard arcade aims to raise money for Ukraine

Family fun night attendees will have a chance to make goodwill donations to play arcade games, with the proceeds going to the International Rescue Committee, a group that provides support for people around the world struggling with trauma, which most recently has meant helping the people of Ukraine.

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Students at Fargo's Lewis & Clark Elementary School try out one of dozens of cardboard arcade games that will be featured at the school's family fun night on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
Photo courtesy Fargo Public Schools
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FARGO — When Lewis & Clark Elementary School in Fargo holds a family fun night on Thursday, May 19, one of the fun things people can do is play "Games for Good," a service-learning project put together by students at Lewis & Clark and four other Fargo elementary schools.

Games for Good is built around arcade games students have created out of cardboard boxes and similar materials.

Family fun night attendees will have a chance to make goodwill donations to play the arcade games, with the proceeds going to the International Rescue Committee, a group that provides support for people around the world struggling with trauma, which most recently has meant helping the people of Ukraine.

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Lewis & Clark Elementary students try out a cardboard arcade game, one of dozens of games students have created for a family fun night set for Thursday, May 19, 2022.
Photo courtesy of Fargo Public Schools

That's according to Stacy Anderson, a teacher with the Lewis & Clark gifted and talented program who came up with the idea for a project involving arcade games after attending an education conference in Colorado last fall.

Anderson said a number of her fifth-grade students took part in the project, as did students from Horace Mann, Washington, Kennedy and Clara Barton elementary schools.

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Anderson, a 32-year veteran of teaching, said she has used service learning throughout her career. "It's so engaging," she said.

"It's very motivating for kids to know they are problem solvers and can make a difference in the lives of others," Anderson added.

Thursday's fun night will be the third of three such events held at Lewis & Clark this school year, but the first to feature Games for Good, said Jason Cresap, principal at Lewis & Clark.

"The kids seem very excited about them," Cresap said, referring to the games. "Anytime you can do these projects I think it can help build empathy in others."

Anderson said about 27 cardboard arcade games have been created and she said all school communities are welcome to come and play the games to help raise funds for the IRC to support the people of Ukraine.

Family fun night runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday evening at Lewis & Clark, 1729 16th St. S. in Fargo.

Anderson said she hopes Games for Good can become a regular feature at school family nights in the school district. She said she would like to see even more gifted and talented programs in the district participate.

She noted that anyone who cannot make it to Thursday's event but would still like to contribute to support Ukraine may do so by dropping off a donation to the IRC before the end of the school year at Lewis & Clark Elementary School.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

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