Oyster River Middle School Bridge Club takes over Library

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“DURHAM — Friday afternoons at a school often resembles the likes of an abandoned building. Eager to start their weekends, staff and students vacate the building at the sound of the dismissal bell, leaving the building silent. However, this is not the case for Oyster River Middle School.

Though the halls are empty and the parking lot barren, one will hear the buzz of discussion and laughter emanating from the ORMS library every Friday afternoon.

For the past five years, the ORMS Bridge Club has taken over the library on Friday afternoons. Run entirely by parents and volunteers, the club has become one of the school’s most popular after school activities. Students in grades five through eight flock the library each Friday afternoon, pushing off the start of the weekend for just a few more hours of fun at school.

The club is run by Lisa Allison and her husband, Nate. Though their son now attends high school, the Allisons return to ORMS every Friday to teach new generations the game of bridge.

“My parents taught me to play bridge when I was seven or eight years old,” said Lisa Allison. “I was not a good player by any means, but I had fun.”

Allison continued to play bridge well into her adult years. When her son was a toddler, she joined a parent group and began to teach and play bridge with other parents while their children socialized and played. Once her son was old enough to attend school, Allison joined the American Contract Bridge League and began to play duplicate bridge for Master Points. As her passion for bridge grew, Allison wanted to share the game with younger generations in hopes of getting the game alive and relevant.

When her son entered 5th grade in 2011, Allison partnered with another parent to start a Bridge Club at ORMS. Though they began with only four members — the minimum required to play bridge — the club has grown exponentially. For the 2016-2017 school year, Bridge Club has nearly 60 students on its roster.”

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