Spring Appeal Story: ASAP Scrabble

Mastery Shoemaker Scrabble Coach Takes Word Ninjas to D.C.

On May 13th, 28 students and coaches from 10 different Philadelphia schools embarked on their first journey together since the pandemic: the 2022 North American School Scrabble Championships (NASSC) in Washington D.C.

North American School Scrabble Championships

The NASSC draws students from schools and programs across the United States to compete for top individual and team trophies. The 2022 event was hosted by Planet Word Museum in Washington, D.C. and was supported by: Hasbro, Word Game Players’ Organization, Scopely, Merriam-Webster, NASPA, Gene Timer.

But they didn’t do it alone. They did so alongside their biggest fans – their dedicated coaches and parents.

One of the participating ASAP Scrabble teams was the Mastery Shoemaker Word Ninjas, led by longtime ASAP Scrabble coach Abigail Henry:

For Mastery Shoemaker senior Soleil, the Scrabble Championships was a fitting capstone to her scholastic Scrabble career.

Beyond the Board

According to Coach Henry, the recipe for a successful Scrabble club is more than just practicing game strategy. First and foremost, “building a culture is very important.” Coach Henry recommends creating a safe environment where kids feel comfortable sharing. Before every club meeting she takes a moment to check in with how the students are feeling and looks to bond with them over other shared interests like music, books, and other board games.

According to her students, Coach Henry’s dedication is not only helping the Word Ninjas find success on the Scrabble board – it’s also helping to inspire a generation of future educators.

How you can help!

Students like Soliel and Mekhi would agree that while Scrabble trophies are nice, nothing is better that a caring mentor who believes in you and what you are capable of.

ASAP is privileged to work with so many extraordinary educators like Ms. Henry who help to foster a love of learning in the minds of her students. Today we celebrate the Mastery Shoemaker Word Ninjas and all of the NASSC participating teams for giving it their all this season – and their support systems cheering them on along the way!

If you’d like to help ASAP create more opportunities for youth in Philadelphia, we hope you will consider making a donation!