Horn Lake, MS — The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) recently launched a pilot program to bring bridge education to local midsouth schools. Twenty schools from three states – Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama – sent a teacher representative to the School Bridge Club Seminar on September 17, where they learned the game of bridge from some of the ACBL’s top youth bridge instructors. Since completing the seminar, sixty percent of teachers formed School Bridge Clubs and over 250 students have already registered to join!

According to a 2005 study, students who played bridge out-scored their non-playing counterparts by 15 points in science, 10 points in math, and 7 points in reading on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Armed with this information, the ACBL decided to launch a pilot program to teach bridge to students, utilizing their classroom teachers as bridge instructors. It is the hope of the ACBL that through bridge instruction, the achievement gap will lessen in midsouth schools.

“We were so pleased with the turnout for the seminar and had a wonderful group of teachers representing elementary, middle, and high schools from three different states,” said Vicki Campbell, Director of Marketing and Education. “Most of the teachers plan to use the curriculum for after school clubs, but several teachers will use bridge instruction as curriculum enrichment in their classrooms for both Advanced Placement and Individualized Education programs.”

The School Bridge Club pilot program is a fully-funded program sponsored by the ACBL. Teacher instruction, curriculum coded to National math standards, decks of cards, t-shirts for students and trophies for an end-of-program tournament are all provided to participating schools, along with a teaching stipend for the Bridge Club sponsor.

About the ACBL
Indisputably the most challenging card game ever invented, bridge attracts players of all ages and walks of life — from Microsoft founder Bill Gates to tennis star Martina Navratilova. Founded in 1937, the ACBL is the largest bridge organization in the world, serving 165,000 members, 3,200 bridge clubs and sanctioning 1,100 sectional and regional tournaments annually. The ACBL’s three North American Bridge Championships each attract up to 5,000 players representing every state in the United States, Canada and about 20 other foreign countries. For more information about the ACBL, visit www.acbl.org.