Tag Archives: IGD

International Games Day Returns to the Hall

By Aiden Wacksman

For the first time in two years, Upper School (US) students will be able to participate in International Games Day (IGD) at Oak Hall. It will take place throughout the day Nov. 19 in the MS/US Learning Commons. 

IGD is defined as “an initiative run by volunteers from around the world to reconnect communities through their libraries” by the American Library Association. At Oak Hall, students can enjoy games ranging from cornhole to Super Smash Bros. Throughout the day, US teachers can bring their classes to the Learning Commons to participate.

The idea to start IGD at Oak Hall came several years ago and was brought up by Media Specialist Evelyn Smith. She read about IGD online and presented the idea to the US division head at the time. 

Smith received permission to host IGD at Oak Hall. Many of the games were donated or loaned by teachers and students in the event’s first year. “We still have games and puzzles that were donated that first year,” Smith said. The first IGD at Oak Hall was a success, and it became a tradition at Oak Hall. It normally takes place on the last school day before Fall break.

“It’s a fitting time of the year to play games together just as people are about to enjoy the week with their families.
Evelyn Smith – Media Specialist

For the first time, however, IGD at Oak Hall did not take place in 2020 due to COVID-19. Due to social distancing protocols, the MS/US Learning Commons was used as a classroom three times per day, which would make hosting IGD virtually impossible. Thus, the event was canceled for the year. 

Smith met with current US Division Head John Perlette and Re-Entry Committee Chair Jeffery Malloy at the end of the 2020-21 school year, and IGD at Oak Hall was approved for the 2021-22 school year.

Students such as seniors Jasmine Ferris and Ryland Kane are looking forward to the return of IGD. “I missed not being able to [beat] my friends in ‘Monopoly’ last year,” Ferris exclaimed. Meanwhile, Kane is excited to play “Mario Kart” at this year’s IGD. “I like that [students] get the chance to have some fun,” he said. 

This year, IGD will feature new games such as cornhole, “Go,” and “Wingspan”. Smith believes that IGD at Oak Hall allows students to have fun and engage in friendly competition. “It’s refreshing for students and teachers to come to [IGD] and just play,” she stated. Her favorite thing about IGD is when alumni tell her that the event was one of their favorites at Oak Hall. 

Students, do you need volunteer hours? Ms. Smith needs volunteers for International Games Day! Email her at esmith@oakhall.org or talk to her in the library if you are interested. 

Upper School Celebrates IGD

Friday marks fifth year of participation

By Jenna Poppell

International Games Day (IGD) is celebrated on all seven continents and organized, as well as run, by library volunteers. In some places, it is celebrated for an entire week. The mission statement of IGD is “to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games.”

IGD started in 2007 although Oak Hall began the tradition in 2015, making this Friday, Oak Hall’s 5th Anniversary celebrating International Games Day! The school chose the Friday before Thanksgiving Break, instead of following the official days, because it is a relaxing reward for the hard work the students have put in so far this school year. “Students are invited to come to the library during their study hall, free period, during lunch, or before or after school, to play games; but they must first take care of their tests, assignments, and quizzes,” explained Evelyn Smith, Oak Hall’s Middle and Upper School Media Specialist.

At Oak Hall, the importance of maintaining a balance between work and fun is important, and IGD is a great way to give the students both. The library has mostly relied on teacher-donated games, although the Media Center has recently built up its collection. Jeff Malloy, Oak Hall’s Director of Auxiliary and Operations, is donating the ping pong table and pool table from the Middle School’s Extended Care Program for the special event. Volunteer hours are offered to students that would like to help clean the library in between classes. 

“I wholeheartedly believe that there is great value in people sitting face-to-face in real time and space, and engaging in lighthearted but spirited competition,” Smith stated. “The [Middle and Upper School] Library’s mission is to serve the Oak Hall School community as flexible learning commons for classes, for meetings, for study, and, in the case of IGD, for fun,” she continued.