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Next Scrabble tourney Saturday
Will raise funds for GED scholarships
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Forsyth County News

If you go

What: Literacy Forsyth’s June Scrabble Tournament

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; registration begins at 9 a.m.

Where: Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, 7745 Majors Road

Cost: $10 per person for pairs’ recreational tournament; $20 per person for individual competitive tournament

For more information or to pre-register, visit www.literacyforsyth.com.

Leaders of a Forsyth organization hope the power of words will help fund scholarships.

Literacy Forsyth, a community nonprofit that provides educational opportunities to adults, will hold its June Scrabble Tournament from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

Annaliza Thomas, executive director of the organization, said this will be the second tournament for the group. The first, which was held in February, she said, was a big success.

“It went really well,” she said. “It was a great turnout and we raised enough money for 10 scholarships. So this time, we’re hoping to do the same thing.”

Thomas said the scholarships are given to General Educational Development, or GED, students as they take the exam which determines whether or not they will receive their high school equivalency.   

According to Thomas, the test fee, normally $95, will rise to $160 beginning July 1.

“That’s a huge challenge for someone who’s getting their GED because that’s a lot of money to them, especially because that’s just the test fee and not a guarantee that they’re going to pass,” she said.

“We try to help people as much as possible so they have as few barriers as possible to take the GED.”

Thomas noted that some might be surprised to learn how many people in Forsyth County don’t have a high school education.

“There are over 12,000 people in Forsyth County who don’t have any diploma, high school or GED,” she said. “I’m pretty sure nearly 10,000 of those people are over the age of 25, so they’re well out of the reach of the public education system. So really a GED is their only option.”  

Saturday’s Scrabble competition, she said, will be divided into two categories: a competitive individual tournament and a pairs’ recreational tournament.

“This time, one of the things we’re doing differently to get more people involved is we’re having, on the recreation side … we’re letting people play in pairs,” Thomas said. “Last time a lot of people didn’t want to come out and compete by themselves, but they wanted to play kind of a friendly game.”

Thomas said participants are asked to pre-register online at Literacy Forsyth’s Web site, but they can also sign up Saturday morning, when registration begins at 9 a.m.

Cost to play is $10 per person in the pairs’ recreational tournament and $20 per person for the individual competitive tournament.

Thomas joked that she’s happy to just be an observer.

“Last time, the highest word was 55 points,” she said. “I’m glad I don’t actually have to play any of these word games, that I can just be a part of the set-up crew and registration.”

She noted that the tournaments will likely be held on a fairly regular basis from now on.

“A lot of the players were saying this was the kind of event they had been looking for, something really low key, very fun and family-oriented,” Thomas said. “The people who played asked that we do [the tournaments] pretty regularly, and so we’re doing that.”

She hopes many will come out to support the organization while perfecting their Scrabble skills.

“We’re just trying to get people involved in literacy activities that are fun, and everything goes to a great cause to help folks get their GED and make their lives better.”