ACBL Bridge Beat #10 – Contract Bridge first taught in schools…
One of the first school bridge programs was documented in January 1937. Helen Berry Baker began teaching contract bridge to seventh through ninth grade students at Marina Junior High School in San Francisco CA. Over eighty students signed up to participate in her class. At the time, a San Francisco welfare worker gave her opinion about teaching bridge in public schools.
“I think that providing a mental recreational outlet like contract bridge for our school children might be the answer that our parent-teacher organizations are seeking to reduce juvenile delinquency. I know of many juvenile delinquents whose tendency toward delinquency would have been curbed, had they had a competitive mental outlet. I can see how Contact Bridge tournaments offer this outlet, because participants are not restricted to the physical qualifications that are required in other school sports. It is my opinion that Bridge in public schools would be a splendid addition, and would fulfill the growing demands of parents that their children be given activities that will insure a better social adjustment.”
Baker, Helen Berry. “Contract Bridge as an Instrument for Early Social Adjustment.” The Bridge World Dec 1937: 32-34