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Article In Parkersburg News & Sentinel - June 3, 2009

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By MICHAEL ERB, [email protected] POSTED: June 3, 2009

PARKERSBURG - An old game became new again in the hands of seventh-grade students Tuesday at VanDevender Middle School.

More than 120 students huddled around circles drawn on mats, flicked shooters from their fingers and attempted to best classmates in the classic game of marbles.

"I knew there were marbles, but I didn't know there were any games with them," said 13-year-old Samantha Logston. "It's actually a fun game."

"It's like tennis," said 13-year-old classmate Clarissa Simms. "You get to challenge your friends. Marbles are pretty fun."

The school's seventh-grade homerooms held a day-long marble tournament, pitting boys against boys and girls against girls in several heats, culminating Tuesday afternoon in a showdown outside by the top girl and boy players.

Teacher Susan Boyd said students spent the morning rotating through four sessions, with the first teaching them the history of marbles, the second showing a film on the making of marbles, the third going over the rules of the game and the fourth allowing them all time to practice their shooting techniques.

Each of the six homerooms took team names based on marble terms, like aggies, shooters and cat's eyes.

"We wanted to have an end-of-the-year activity where everyone could learn something plus have a good time," Boyd said.

The marble tournament came about after teacher Carolyn Martin helped her class research a social studies project on the history of marbles in West Virginia.

The group made contact with Parkersburg native Howard Powell, president of the West Virginia Marble Collectors Club.

"That's what we did, before school, at recess and after school," said Powell, 63, remembering his days in first-grade. "It was marbles, marbles, marbles."

The association donated 75 pounds of marbles to the tournament, as well as bags of shooters, the main marbles used to play the games. Students also received keychains, which could have beads added.

Each session gained the student a different colored bead, and those who participated in the tournament also could earn special beads.

Boyd said the teachers gave out about 70 door prizes to students throughout the day and the top girl and boy players respectively earned $10 movie gift cards.

The overall tournament winner also earned a $10 Wal-Mart gift card.

Powell said Tuesday's tournament at Vandy was a great way to introduce young people to a timeless game.

"What I am doing here is exposing the younger generation to what I enjoyed as a kid," he said.

Powell pulled a marble from his pocket, the same shooter he had used since he was a child.

"When I see a marble, I see history," he said.

Copied from: http://newsandsentinel.com/page/content.de...5.html?nav=5061

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Just got home and was going to post that article and you "stole my thunder"........lol

I was very very happy when I opened the newspaper today and front page marble news!!!!!!!!!!

Great job by Mr Powell,Mrs Martin,Mrs Boyd and whoever else was involved.

AWESOME!!!!!! :Cool_653:

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