The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) has launched free daily “Community Club” sessions for students starting today and continuing daily as needed while most schools are shut down because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The non-profit organization says the interactive online gatherings offer students continued socialization with friends, development of game skills, and insights into the careers and lives of professionals working in the esports industry.
“Given the present challenges, we are eager to direct our philanthropy to provide the support that students and communities need,” Gerald Solomon, founder of NASEF and executive director of the Samueli Foundation, said. “While schools are closed, we’re shifting our focus from ‘competition to community’ for the benefit of students. NASEF will leverage its connection of play and learning to ensure that youth can continue to engage in esports-related activities in safe and meaningful ways.”
Students and families can participate in the “Community Club” streams Monday-Friday at https://www.twitch.tv/esportsfed. All streams will be monitored by vetted professionals to ensure a positive environment. The schedule and other details can be found at www.esportsfed.org/communityclub, which will be updated frequently.
Sample topics for the Community Club activities include:
- Minecraft Let’s Play + Community Agreements
- Tilt Management
- Tournament Design
- Beyond the Game challenges
- Community Game Night
In addition to the free daily streams for youth, NASEF will offer educators a free online Professional Development opportunity so that they can explore the possibilities of scholastic esports. These sessions will be hosted on free online platforms. The schedule is available at www.esportsfed.org/communityclub.
“Many teachers who are interested in scholastic esports haven’t had time to explore the options and understand how engaging this is for students, the incredible learning opportunity esports present, and the number of free resources available from NASEF,” said Tom Turner, chief education officer of NASEF. “Certainly, teachers are going to be working to keep their students on track during the school closures, but without full classrooms to lead in-person, educators may also have an opportunity to explore other tools for their use to keep students engaged, today and in the future.”
For the past two years, NASEF has leveraged massive youth interest in esports to teach students STEM-based skills along with career options related to esports and other industries. Students participate in NASEF’s esports tournaments and concurrently develop industry-needed skills such as shoutcasting, marketing, event planning, artwork and design, data analytics, computer science and technology. Its programs are provided free to students and participating educators, whether through schools, libraries, or community groups such as the YMCA.
NASEF is also a program partner at this October’s Academic Esports Conference and Expo in October.