Who are we? Schoolhouse Escapes was developed by Dana Martin and Robin Prigmore. Martin, a professional writer and former co-owner of both The Raven’s Gate and Talladega Frights haunted attractions, has found a natural progression from the entertainment industry–to escape games–to education, and she uses her experience to bring the fun and magic to Schoolhouse Escapes. Prigmore is a 25-year veteran teacher in the Clovis Unified and Norris School Districts and writes unique Schoolhouse curriculum based on testable standards as set forth in the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Martin, a graduate of California State University Bakersfield, and Prigmore, a Fresno State grad, strive to ensure that each adventure is designed for varied skill levels, so all participants feel successful and important.
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What is this? Schoolhouse Escapes is an education-based company that brings the “escape game” experience into your classroom or to an entire grade level. Escape games are immersive, heavily-themed adventure games, where participants must collaborate to solve a series of puzzles and clues to “escape.” Using this concept, we’ve created grade level appropriate adventure games designed to reinforce common core standards. Each unit is grade level specific and standards-based (many covering multiple standards) and so fun that students don’t realize they are applying what they’ve learned to real-world scenarios. Students get the fun of going on a field trip without ever having to leave their school.
Old habits die hard. The short story is that I (Dana) love Halloween and always have, even though I did not get to participate in it for most of my childhood because of being such a sick little sucker. So I grew up to become a writer JUST so I could own haunted houses one day (not really, but it DID help). I was first a writer, then a haunt mom, then worked on and eventually co-owned and operated two AMAZING haunted houses in the central valley of California (The Raven’s Gate near Fresno and Talladega Frights in Bakersfield). Now, with ALL that experience, I realized that I LOVE (not just Halloween but) entertaining people SO MUCH. I love seeing them laugh and have something to do that will be in their memories if not for a lifetime, than as social media feed fodder. And Schoolhouse Escapes is the perfect stepping stone for school-aged kids to experience and grow to love the escape room industry.
Ready to play? If you are interested in hosting an on-campus escape game adventure, we are happy to accommodate as many students as are in your grade level. Each game lasts approximately 60 minutes, with a 15 min. required reset. Ideally, we would like to set it up in an empty classroom, but we know this isn’t always possible. However, if there IS an empty classroom then the setup/reset will go faster. Each classroom of students will enter, be told the rules and an immersive story, and then will be given their first puzzles and sets of clues. We welcome the class teacher, as he or she will help us manage the class when they begin to get so excited from all the fun. Their tasks keep them quite busy, so typically they don’t have time to misbehave, so really… the teacher’s presence is to give small help when needed and to take photos (if desired). At the end, we will take class photos with “out signs” (the signs people hold at the end of typical escape games), and each child will receive a small trinket once they solve the mystery/puzzles/clues/or build the required element to finish the game. Each game we deliver is standards-based (we show you the standard(s) covered), and our puzzles and games require them to take real world scenarios and apply skills they’ve learned to solve the problems. We will provide instructions for each teacher prior to arrival so you can have some time to divide your students into groups that will ensure the most success (this is actually my favorite part!). At Schoolhouse Escapes, we pay special care to ensure that EACH student, regardless of skill level, has a fun and rewarding experience, and will feel as if everyone had a job and contributed equally to the success of the game. And yes… unlike the “real” escape rooms, all of our students win (and not in a fake way… they actually DO solve everything and genuinely win!). Let us know how many classes you’re wanting to “play with” and we will get you the prices. We are offering earlybird discounts right now for entire grade levels so that you can help us build our reputation and show us some Facebook love!