Seattle Chess Foundation markets Chess Education

There have been countless studies on the impact chess has had on children's development. Many American schools have discovered this and scholastic chess activity is at an all-time high. In addition, many non-profit organizations have also begun helping to build a viable chess program in cities where activity had been dormant. Sanjay Bhatt of The Seattle Times reported that America's Foundation for Chess (AF4C) has continued to take on this mission.

Students at Seattle's Zion Prep

This foundation is perhaps best known for organizing the U.S. Chess Championships, an event featuring the country's top players. After three years in Seattle, the event will be in La Jolla, San Diego from November 25th to December 5th.  AF4C is currently promoting chess in the Seattle schools, and hopes to spread its vision to California next year and eventually around the entire country.  The foundation is calling for applications from schools seeking in-class chess instruction and teacher training. The foundation's Executive Director states,

"Our mission is to strengthen the minds and character of our youth by advancing chess in our schools and culture."

One of the first schools to win a grant from the foundation was Zion Preparatory Academy, a private school in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood. The school has offered a chess class to their students for the last  seven years. In Bhatt's article, it is stated that "nearly 30 nations formally integrate chess into their school curricula because of its impact on critical-thinking skills. The U.S. does not, but chess advocates hope to change that."

Sanjay Bhatt, "Got Chess? Foundation Promotes Chess as a Learning Tool," The Seattle Times, 15 March 2004.

The Chess Drum, "AF4C seeks to Nationalize Chess Agenda!"  1 February 2004.

See the site of the 2004 U.S. Chess Championship!!

Posted by The Chess Drum: 17 March 2004