Challenging Heads reaches 400 Philly Youth!

On May 6, 2006 children from ten different Philadelphia, Pa. public schools gathered at Woodrow Wilson middle school for the Communities in Schools Art Expo.  With four hundred children and one hundred and fifty parents in attendance, Challenging Heads Chess partnered with the Communities in Schools organization for the first time this year and taught at five different schools.  Communities in schools asked Challenging Heads to give a presentation to the packed auditorium.  How do we keep the attention of four hundred children with a game they normally consider boring?  What do we cover in our presentation?  What is the best way to present our message to the children? 

The challenge of presenting the material to four hundred children was solved by using a projector and a laptop computer.  What will be displayed on the projector?  Challenging Heads decided to teach the chess board, and the movement of the pieces.  But how do we make it appealing to children?  After careful thought, Challenging Heads designed a system that was visual and consisted of movement.  While studying chess
Glenn Bady noticed that each piece makes shapes as it moves during the game.  Depending on the amount of moves the piece made; the shapes can be very intricate.  Using this as our premise, Challenging Heads used the ChessBase program to show piece movement. 

Challenging Heads reaches 400 Philly Youth!

Glenn Bady
(Founder of Challenging Heads)

Glenn Bady founded challenging Heads Chess with the mission of spreading his love of chess to students in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. 

Each piece was placed in the center of the board and instead of moving the pieces, the movement of the pieces were drawn with red arrows.  This led to beautiful and dynamic shapes.  Each square was highlighted then un-highlighted as Joshua Justice gave the presentation about the piece path.  Highlighting and un-highlighting the squares created a sense of movement and the children enjoyed it.  The chessboard was explained in a similar fashion.  As the file names were called, the file would be pointed out by having a yellow arrow drawn on all eight squares.  The same was done for the ranks.  This created movement in an otherwise motionless setting.  Capturing the attention of children and educating them at the same time about the game of chess. 

The May 6 Art Expo was fantastic.  Watching children from the city display their talents was a joy to watch.  There were many activities and performances: karate, choir, woodwind band, full band, orchestra, dancing, and of course chess.

Who is Communities in Schools and Challenging Heads Chess?

Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Inc has worked with the School District of Philadelphia and was founded in 1986.  Communities In Schools use the resources of the community for the benefit of the students they serve.  Communities In Schools serves 8,500 students per year in a total of 88 schools. Bady founded challenging Heads Chess with the mission of spreading his love of chess to students in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs.  He has been playing chess since his high school days and has an insatiable appetite for the game of kings.  Communities In Schools and Challenging Heads Chess partnered for the first time in the fall of 2005.

~ Challenging Heads, Inc. ~

Challenging Heads reaches 400 Philly Youth!

Posted by The Chess Drum: 2 July 2006