Friday, March 7, 2008

TCA Chess in Education Workshop

TCA Chess in Education workshop was held March 8, 2008, 1-5 p.m. (Houston), co-organized by UTD's Dr. Alexey Root and Luis Salinas. The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB), Texas Tech University (TTU), and The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) are the higher education leaders for chess in education in Texas. With this workshop, Texas builds its reputation as the leading state for chess in education. UTB, TTU, and UTD are joint workshop sponsors, along with the Texas Chess Association (TCA).

Scholastic chess is booming in Brownsville, Texas, and the surrounding communities. Of the 50 schools in the Brownsville Independent School District, at least 35 have active chess programs. Six different Brownsville ISD schools have won national chess championships, led by Dr. Americo Paredes Elementary’s seven national titles. Two elementary school students have tied for individual national championships, and many others have finished in the top five. The chess success of our local schools got the attention of Dr. Juliet Garcia, President of The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College, who formed a chess program at UTB/TSC so that area students would have the opportunity to earn scholarships and compete in chess at the university level. The Brownsville Independent School District has gotten onboard, and now allocates about $400,000 per year to their chess program. Chess has become a source of pride to BISD, UTB/TSC, and our community, and is now part of our identity. How did all of this come about? How can these results be duplicated elsewhere? Are there other successful models in other areas? How does the future look? These questions and more face M-DCPS.

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