Sunday, April 27, 2014

A worthy cause

There are many worthy causes in the world.  Some help those in serious need, such as Bloggers for Charity.  Others help to feed intellectual growth, and share the love we all have for this hobby.  This post is about the latter.


Richard Clark, of TooFat Lardies is in the initial stages of developing an effort to aid schools in establishing their wargaming clubs.  He notes that he was introduced to wargaming through a chance encounter with a Don Featherstone book in his school library.  Of such small things is our community made.  That first introduction is so important, and so much a matter of chance.

Rich's aim is to donate a copy of this book to school libraries that have historical wargaming clubs.  Fifty years on from Featherstone's heyday, copies of his books, as well as Charles Grant and others have probably moved on from school libraries, and they probably never existed on this side of the pond.

The goal is for schools with clubs to contact Rich, who will then work with a list of donors to provide a copy of the book to the local school library.  The publisher is providing the books at cost and there is no profit or advertising for TFL.  This is pure charity.

Head on over to Lard Island and have a look, and think about whether your local school could avail itself of this.

8 comments:

  1. Good idea! I recently read a blog post of a fellow who donated Hyde's Wargaming Compendium to his local library. I have been considering doing the same.

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    1. I was thinking about this as well. I don't know of a single club at any school near here, but the local library could benefit from this.

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  2. Superb idea! I've donated military history books to the local HS. It was military history that pulled me into Avalon Hill games and then miniatures. In the UK, they put on games in libraries or museum and allow walk ups. I share my love of this hobby with anyone I meet but I could step it up.

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    1. I agree Monty. There's more I could do, and the least of it is making sure there is something in the library for those kids to stumble across.

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  3. What fabulous idea and a very generous gesture too.

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    1. Now to see what people make of it.

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  4. It's a stonkingly good idea.

    I am a (secondary) English teacher and in my last school in Norfolk I ran a D&D club which I rescued from the ashes of what had been a warhammer club. I had a regular weekly mob of 8-10 boys, but interestingly they didn't want Games Workshop due to the huge costs involved - entirely understandably. Hence D&D. I know a number of them have continued it into adulthood.

    Three words to the wise though:
    (1) The ever-increasing exams (and social) pressures on students of secondary age combined with the increasing pressures for schools to get staff to multi-multi-task AND save yet more money means that fewer staff have time for such clubs now and fewer students see it as a 'useful' way to spend extracurricular time, as they're constantly being told they need to go to revision classes or do an extra subject to pad out their CVs. Little do they know - the poor blighters.
    (2) Increasingly, many school libraries are either unstaffed or only part-time staffed, with the consequence that many are woefuy underused. Worryingly, they are also often turned into a spare 'proxy' classroom or a computer room. The books take very much a back seat. Especially non-fiction. I'm pleased to say my current school has a very busy and active library, but a HUGE amount of what was a reference section has now been simply outstripped by the internet. Many school libraries - including mine - don't even have an encyclopedia any more.
    Finally (3) - In some LEAs it's now standard (required!) practice to throw out any non-fiction book over ten years old. See (2) above.

    I've been in schools for a decade now, and the pace of change has been swift and in many ways terrible. Not all, mind - teen reading has enjoyed a surge in the last 15 years or so, mostly due to some of the great and/or popular series of books-cum-films emerging: Harry Potter started it, but see also the 'Cherub' books, 'Artemis Fowl', 'Hunger Games'...even bloody 'Twilight' has helped!

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    1. It's always good to get an insider's view of schools. I know that things are not a lot better here in the States. My son's elementary school had a big library, right in the center of the school. There were empty shelves in it. I can't even imagine how that happens. Every child I know loves checking books out of the library.

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