Students at St. George’s Technical High School hold an annual Freshmen Community Service Day near the end of each school year — a project that convenes students on similar career paths for the sake of team building and giving back to their community.
This year, freshmen in the Middletown votech’s IT Academy decided to hold a game-a-thon fundraiser on May 30, with proceeds going toward Gamers Outreach Foundation, a Michigan-based nonprofit that provides equipment and technology that allows hospitalized kids access to video games.
It may sound less than vital to provide sick kids with video games, but for children who are confined to a hospital bed for a period of time, gaming has improved the quality of life of some hospitalized children to the point that some doctors actually prescribe video game time to reduce anxiety and even pain.
Most hospitals have video games in a common playroom area. But for kids who aren’t able to leave their beds, Gamers’ Outreach provides what they call “GOKarts” — movable game systems that can be brought to the bedside.
The IT Academy hopes to raise enough money to donate at least one GOKart to a local hospital.
James Sekcienski, an IT/programming and design instructor at St. George’s Tech, first got the idea to do a game-a-thon for children’s hospital at the Young Innovator’s Fair at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.
“I had an interest in organizing an event like this, since it allows students to use their interest in gaming to give back to their community,” he said to Technical.ly. “I was researching to see if there were community organizations that would allow us to support a local hospital in Delaware when I came across the Gamers Outreach Foundation.”
When he shared it with his students, they agreed — sometimes from personal experience — that providing hospitalized kids with access to gaming was a worthy cause.
“With this being the first year, our game-a-thon is more social with friendly competition to allow the students to get to know each other,” said Sekcienski. “In the future, I would love to expand the event to include more students and to include gaming tournaments to help raise more money to be able to donate more GOKarts.”
Interested in helping them reach their goal? You can make a donation here.