Beyond Gaming: Creating School Community Through ESports!

Tuckahoe Middle School’s eSports team serves as a powerful catalyst for building a sense of community among students. It creates a space where diverse individuals can come together, united by their shared passion for gaming. In this inclusive environment, students of different backgrounds, interests, and abilities find common ground and establish meaningful connections. Participating on the team allows students to learn to collaborate, strategize, and communicate effectively as they work towards a common goal, fostering teamwork and camaraderie. eSports teams not only provide an outlet for students to pursue their interests but also serve as a vehicle for forging lasting friendships and strengthening the bonds within the school community.

At their September meeting, the GRAETC committee learned  about starting an eSports club from committee member Amanda Kinsler.  Amanda piloted an eSports program in Henrico last year and shared her journey beyond gaming. She talked about ascertaining funding, finding additional adult volunteers, advertising and recruiting students, and setting up practice sessions for the gamers. She shared images and videos of the excited faces of eSport athletes as they competed against other Henrico middle schools. She explained some of the structures the coaches put in place to make this a successful endeavor for both students and faculty alike. 

As the presentation unfolded, the committee members found themselves envisioning the possibilities and eagerly brainstorming how they could replicate the sense of community, teamwork, and skill development that eSports had brought to Tuckahoe in their own educational settings. The professional learning session was not just about gaming; it was about enhancing the overall educational experience and building a stronger sense of community within their schools.

Authorship Information: Amanda Kinsler serves as the innovative learning coach at Tuckahoe Middle School in Henrico County Public Schools.  She is passionate about integrating innovation into instruction and fostering community through school culture.

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