The article highlights the challenges of such a program lacking for funding and of course Times has seen successful chess programs cut before. However, he is determined to secure sponsors for the program. Attracting mainly students from the Black and Hispanic communities, the creative curriculum features segments such as tai chi and storytelling of the classics. This lateral approach serves to accomplish an ultimate goal… academic achievement. The article further states,
"About one-fifth of the students who leave this school go on to elite prep schools like Andover, Exeter and Choate. About 50 percent get into competitive public high schools like Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech and Bronx Science. These would be staggering numbers in any case, but they are especially impressive given that Mott Hall serves a poor, heavily Dominican district where that kind of academic excellence is rare."
It is interesting that during the Wilbert Paige Memorial tournament, some of the Mott Hall students were exposed to some of the strongest Black players in the world. Perhaps Coach Times has designs to bring in some of these talented players to provide the inspiration to improve to higher heights. Staples ends the article with a poignant statement by saying, "What is disheartening is a public education financing mechanism that rewards mediocrity everywhere you look and then forces innovation and excellence to stand on the street, rattling the tin cup." Well said.
Read "Chess Offers Young Students Life Lessons at City School"
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