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Including Others

Thursday, August 13, 2020

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National Mah Jongg Day is celebrated on August 1st each year. The story of how Mah Jongg became popular in my community is an interesting one.

Fifteen years ago, when we moved into the community, I was playing golf with a gal who told me she couldn't stay for lunch because she was playing Mah Jongg that afternoon. I told her that I was an experienced player and to call me if they ever needed a substitute. Her answer was "We are a closed group!" I was shocked by her response and the following week introduced myself to the rest of the gals with the same offer. She repeated herself, "We are a closed group!"

Never one to be deterred, I went to see the employee who wrote our monthly newsletter and asked her to put an ad in the next edition: "Mah Jongg Lessons - 4 weeks - FREE - First 12 Participants." Within two days there was a waiting list! And I received calls from experienced players who were interested in playing but were rejected from the original group. I had my game and have been teaching Mah Jongg ever since. There are now over 130 women playing Mah Jongg every day of the week! We include EVERYONE who wants to learn and play, including the gals from the original group!

The importance of encouraging our children to include others is a skill that should be taught at a young age and reinforced continually. It teaches them to accept differences and respect others.

Both "Don't Be That KID! At Home" and "Don't Be That KID! At School" have scenes stressing inclusion. The "Don't Be That KID! At School Resource Guide" has inclusion activities separated into grades K-1, 2-3 and 4-5 that will assist parents and teachers to infuse the concept easily.

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