Chess Club Teaches Life Lessons Across The Board

Chess Club Teaches Life Lessons Across The Board


JUST ASK THIS WEEK’S JEFFERSON AWARD WINNER. AS ALLEN MARTIN REPORTS, HE LEFT THE CLASSROOM… AND FOUND HE COULD HELP STUDENTS BY TEACHING THEM CHESS. IF LIFE IS LIKE CHESS.. Chris what if I don’t move it, you’re not going to take it are ya? Kid: I will. CHRIS MAJOR WANTS KIDS TO LEARN EARLY.. Chris Major – Jefferson Award Winner The job is for me to help them self-manage themselves because ultimately that’s what all of us should be helping children do. AFTER RETIRING AS A SPECIAL ED TEACHER… CHRIS STARTED TWO NON- PROFITS. IN ’05… THE “HAYWARD YOUTH ACADEMY”. FIVE YEARS LATER.. THE NOVATO CHESS CLUB. MIDDLE SCHOOL AND ELEMENTARY STUDENTS.. LIKE THESE AT SAINT RAFAEL’S SCHOOL IN SAN RAFAEL.. MEET WITH CHRIS ONCE A WEEK.. FOR AN HOUR. Allen Martin – San Rafael The kids may come in here thinking they’re going to learn chess but Chris says they’re learning a lot more. Chris Major – Jefferson Award Winner focusing, visualization, decision making, critical thinking. those are all developmental things that all young people need to learn as they get older to be successful. IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING.. Ben Southard – 7th Grader St. Raphael School Every time we play chess we learn about; one; each other. two; each other’s strategies and how we think. Kara Kandankulam – 2nd Grader St. Raphael School it just gives me a time to have a thinking moment. Kelvin Monterroso – 4th Grader St. Raphael School Think before you do something. Since In chess you have to think like ahead. you can’t think behind. FUNDED BY DONATIONS AND GRANTS.. CHRIS NOW INCORPORATES A COLLEGE OUTREACH PROGRAM. TWICE A YEAR HE TAKES KIDS TO HIS ALMA MATER.. SAINT MARY’S COLLEGE.. FOR A DAY, TO SHOW THEM; COLLEGE IS ATTAINABLE. AND CHESS, HE SAYS, CAN BE THE KEY. Chris Major – Jefferson Award Winner To critically think. To communicate effectively. And not let external pressures in their lives destroy their opportunities. AND IF A STUDENT DOESN’T WANT TO PLAY CHESS? IT’S MORE THAN O.K… Chris Major – Jefferson Award Winner There are times when kids come in and say ‘Mr. Major I just want to do my homework.’ THAT is the victory. SO FOR TEACHING KIDS CHESS.. ALONG WITH LESSONS FOR LIFE… THIS WEEK’S JEFFERSON AWARD IN THE BAY AREA GOES TO.. CHRIS MAJOR. ALLEN MARTIN KPIX-5 CHRIS WOULD LOVE TO SEE CHESS PROGRAMS EXPANDED TO MORE SCHOOLS THROUGOUT THE BAY AREA… YOU CAN HELP BY DONATING. WE HAVE A LINK IN OUR STORY ONLINE AT CBS-SF DOT-COM SLASH-HERO. THAT’S ALSO THE PLACE TO NOMINATE SOMEONE YOU ADMIRE FOR A JEFFERSON AWARD. FOR NEWS THROUGHOUT THE EVENING,

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