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Forty children whose school results have improved through playing Iššūkis, the educational computer game developed by the Utena A. and M. Miskiniai Public Library, have been awarded diplomas and prizes.The library developed the game with EIFL-PLIP support. Iššūkis
(The Challenge) aims to encourage resistant children to go back to school. In just five months since the game was launched in November 2010, 1,086 children from Utena and surrounding villages have registered to play.
Iššūkis has also attracted the attention of Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius who praised the library for its vision and creativity. The Ministry of Science and Education were so impressed with the game that they have informed the library that they are interested in supporting further development and extension of the Play to Study project.
The prizegiving ceremony marked the end of the first phase of the Play to Study project. Children, parents, teachers and experts who helped create the game, including psychologists, were invited to attend. The 40 winners were selected by their teachers for playing the game actively and because they surprised teachers, parents and friends with their good performance.
Prizes – diplomas and backpacks with the Iššūkis logo – were awarded by Curious Question Mark, a character who encouraged the children to relax and enjoy themselves. Curious Question Mark also took the opportunity to interview children, parents and teachers. Her aim was to find out what they liked most about the game, why they played it, and how the game helped improve school results.
Children were encouraged to speak to the teachers and experts at the event, and to share ideas about how Iššūkis might be improved. In this way, the library used the ceremony to assess and further develop the game.
The ceremony ended with the cutting of a huge cake.