Bill Gates and Warren Buffet Donate $1 Million So Kids Can Play Bridge

By Ann Lane Published 12/17/2007

Once a game typically associated with older ladies, bridge has now become a game you can find school children playing, during school hours thanks in part to Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathway founder, Warren Buffet. Gates is a longtime fan of the card game, and he and Buffet donated $1 million to help bring the game of bridge to school children nationwide. While it may seem like all fun and games, there is actually an educational component to this new program. According to The League, children who routinely play bridge are able to improve their critical thinking skills because the game relies largely on logic, math, reasoning, and most of all fun.

The League states that their division, the School Bridge League, is set to debut this month and besides helping children improve their critical thinking skills while having fun, the game of bridge enables children to learn how to work well with others as well as learn team problem solving methods. Test scores of children who have actively participated in the playing bridge indicate that the game can significantly help children. The League cited a recent study in which it was found that at 20 and 32 months after beginning to play the game of bridge, children who played bridge tested higher than children who did not play the game on the Iowa Basic Skills. Furthermore children who played bridge did not excel in just one area in fact they excelled in all five areas (reading, language, math, social studies, and science).

based and school-based program that motivated children to give back to their community. Upon hearing about Gates and Buffet's interest in youth-bridge, The League reached out to them and a new partnership was born. Presently, the web-based program is up and running. It can be found by visiting www.schoolbridgeleague.org. A "Bridge in a Box" learning kit and curriculum guides that are tailored to each state's educational requirements are also available to help teachers implement the game into their lesson plans. A network of bridge enthusiasts whose job it would be to help teach the game is also under development.

The program is open to every school in the United States and it is free as well as simple to join. To learn more about joining the program, visit www.schoolbridgeleague.org or www.theleague.org.