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July 28, 2014

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Students get into bingo at Gibson’s game night

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Hyun James Kim / Special to the Home News

Zavian Makhathini, right, arranges his bingo boards before the start of a family game night at James Gibson Elementary School. Zavian’s mother, Kristen Makhathhini, left, listens to a greeting by from the Parent Teacher Association.

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Second grader Zia Makhathini, left, Kristen Makhathini, center, and Zavian Makhathini talk while playing bingo at James Gibson Elementary School's family game night.

Hundreds of parents and students showed up for James Gibson Elementary School's annual family game night Jan. 29, where many students had the chance to play bingo until it was nearly time for bed.

"We run as many games as we think we can until we start interfering with bedtime," Elisa Stevens, PTA parent services coordinator, said.

Gibson's PTA does a family night each month, she said, but this is always the most heavily attended of them. Through the years, the game night has dwindled from multiple games to just bingo.

"Bingo seems to be the one everyone can play no matter their age," Stevens said.

Bingo was the only game played, but it was far from the only thing going on during the evening. One of the big events is the Reflections awards. Reflections is a national competition that starts at individual schools, encouraging students to be creative through writing, photographs or drawing, depending on where their talent may be.

Each year has a different theme, and close to 300 students submitted entries for this year's contest, with the simple theme of "Wow." Last year, only 53 students submitted work, Stevens said.

"The kids get very, very excited," she said. "They win trophies, and also get that peer recognition."

The top entries from each grade will continue to the state competition, and then to a national competition.

Frances Vanderploeg can be reached at 990-2660 or [email protected].

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