By Joel Hall
"'Yeaf' is not a word, Daddy," Kasie Robinson, 7, told her father, Isaac Robinson, on Thursday night during a game of Scrabble at the Clayton County Headquarters Library.
The elder Robinson smiled at his daughter, knowing that he had failed to pull a "fast one" on her.
"I didn't play the game coming up, so we've kind of learned the game together," said Mr. Robinson, a firefighter for the City of Atlanta. "She catches on pretty quickly."
For the past few months, Robinson and his daughter have visited the library on the second and fourth Thursday of the month to participate in the library's "Scrabble Club."
While the club is still catching on with locals, it has developed a small, but loyal following, according to Library Youth Services Assistant Diane Flores, who founded the club just over a year ago.
"We have people show up every week," Flores said. "If we have boards available, we welcome the adults to play. Some children like to play with the adults, because they get challenged that way."
According to Flores, the club targets those aged six and up, and play starts at 6 p.m., and lasts about an hour and thirty minutes. The library currently owns six scrabble boards, so in teams of two, up to 24 people can play, she said.
Lee Wright, a volunteer and a student at Griffin Technical College, said the Scrabble Club is "a small break" from her daily routine. She has only missed three meetings of the club in the last year, she said.
"The cast of the Scrabble Club varies week to week," Wright said. "I play scrabble to improve my vocabulary. Sometimes, the kids come up with a word that is unexpected. One time, [an opponent] had a Jewish word and a Greek letter on the board at the same time."
Isaac Robinson said that he enjoys the club because it allows his daughter, Kasie, who is in the second grade, to improve her spelling, vocabulary, and math skills. As he is separated from his daughter's mother, he said the club also provides a way for him to spend quality time with his daughter after work.
"Every Thursday, we're here," Robinson said. "Clayton County has really helped with her reading a lot, but I think she has really developed a love for reading [through the Scrabble Club]," he said.
"I don't get to spend a lot of time with her, so every time is precious," Robinson said. "I'm glad that they [the library] decided to do this."
Flores said the club is starting to see participants from Henry County Public Schools looking to play Scrabble, and that the library is hoping to grow the program to include an adult Scrabble Club.
"I'm hoping that, eventually, we will get more people interested," Flores said. "We have had some inquires from adults who say they enjoy being here with the children, but they would like some adult opponents to deal with."
For more information about the Scrabble Club, call (770) 473-3850.