East Side House always seeks ways to bring together our staff, students, and families.
The Youth and Adult Education Services program (YAES) has begun hosting Family Game Night, where students and families join YAES staff to play board games, enter a raffle, listen to music, and enjoy dinner together. The event serves many purposes other than just a fun activity. Especially for students who have overcome many challenges to re-engage in the path to their High School Equivalency (HSE), this social interaction is a way to reinforce positive relationships. Held on a bi-monthly basis, Game Night has become a way to bridge a connection between staff, students and their families in a completely different setting.
Game Night participants become familiar with YAES in a different setting and set a foundation for life-long bonds. “It allows us to develop a rapport and enhance existing relationships in a less structured environment outside of school hours,” staff explains. During Family Game Night, staff can explain more about YAES and address any questions or concerns families may have. This demonstrates devotion not only to the students of the program, but also to the families who support the students. This kind of support translates into comfort and satisfaction that can have a direct impact on a student’s academic success.
Another goal of instituting Family Game Night was to create a YAES tradition. Students have attended Family Game Night with their siblings, parents, cousins, friends, and children and that has created a safe space for students to spend time with friends and family. Amidst the UNO rivalries, the soda and the laughter over board games are relationships that tie students to a larger sense of community.