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New Rochelle Nonprofit Revises Submission Rules

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Synergy Westchester has changed the submission requirements for its current challenge entitled “Gamemaker,” to protect the anonymity of minors after receiving feedback from participants. Still, according to the group’s director, the recent revision does not change the overall objective of the nonprofit, which is located in New Rochelle.

“We received an email from a teacher stating that their school district does not allow photos of children to be uploaded,” said Synergy Director Andi Stix in an e-mail.  “Other schools allow it with the permission of the parents.  In order to be fair, we pulled the video section of the students playing the game.”

Stix said the nonprofit’s goals remain the same. “Our mission is to provide avenues to have students invent, design, create and produce, as we want to stimulate higher order thinking and creativity,” she said.

Stix is the director of Gifted and Talented Enrichment Center (G-tec), which, according to its website, enhances children’s learning through its countywide Synergy program that seeks to build a community for talented and gifted children, along with their families.

Gamemaker asks participants to design a game that will challenge and motivate a child, such as board games, tiles, sports, and word play.  There are three age categories for participants – elementary, middle and high school. The submissions will be posted on Synergy Facebook page and Synergy members will vote for their favorite entries. Two winners will be chosen from each category and will receive a $50 gift certificate to The Learning Express, Amazon, iTunes or the chance to donate the prize to their charity of choice.

“We bring the awareness of webinars, events, articles and other important information to our fan base as well,” Stix said. “Our target audience is not only G-tec Kids, located here in New Rochelle, but our outreach is now global to places like Singapore, India and Europe.”

Stix said the organization has made significant progress in the past two weeks with the interviews of two professionals from the video gaming industry hosted on Friday, including Joe Kling, former president of View Master-Ideal toys, and Don Treffinger , president of the Center for Creative Learning.

"We want to welcome as many people as possible to our Facebook page, Synergy Gifted," Stix said. "Each challenge will have different requirements, based upon the unique characteristics of that challenge," Stix said.

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