“The Game of Life” Helps Local Middle School Students

Montclair State participates in educational program for students at Little Falls middle school

Photo by Garry Rideout

Maralyn Kinch (right), director of Career Counseling and Information Services assists a student during "The Game of Life."

Montclair State’s Center for Career Services and Community-based Learning and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions recently participated in the educational program, the Game of Life (GOL), at School #1 in Little Falls. Designed to improve decision making skills in adolescents, the program features supervised role-play of real-life situations.

GOL is an innovative program that enhances a student’s decision-making skills while increasing their ability to access and know community social service providers,” said program facilitator Judy Moore. “The program is an excellent way to break down barriers that could inhibit a teen’s use of needed services.”

Joining representatives from other fields such as health care, emergency services, legal professions, mental health and senior services, were Montclair State’s Maralyn Kinch, director of Career Counseling and Information Services, and Nadia Sheikh, EOF counselor and recruiter. They helped the 8th graders learn about making good life decisions and where to find help if they need it.

In GOL, students are given a scenario in which they must face the consequences of a risky decision. Some of the issues in a student’s scenario may be alcohol or drug use, financial problems, child abuse, career planning, parent relationships or employment. The students then seek help for their situation from the array of health and social service agencies present. The agency representatives assist the students just as if they were actual clients resulting in a true-to-life learning experience.

The program at Little Falls was a great success and plans are already underway to make it an annual event.