Friday, May 9, 2008

USCF:Chess in Education Workshop

The United States Chess Federation (USCF) Chess in Education

Thursday, August 7, 2008:
1:00-1:30 USCF Chess in Education committee business meeting (John Buky and Joseph Eberhard, co-chairs).

1:30-2:00 Dr. Alexey Root, author of Science, Math, Checkmate: 32 Chess Activities for Inquiry and Problem Solving, presents a classroom activity.
Looking to combine educational goals with chess? Dr. Root presents an activity from her most recent book that teaches the geometry of the board along with the particular way in which knights move, all wrapped up in a fun story. Come hear, and participate in, “Coco Can’t Wait.”

2:00-3:00 Keynote Speaker Russell Harwood,
Chess Program Director
UTB/TSC, presents, The Chess Boom in Brownsville, Texas, and Tips for Duplicating it Where You Live.
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. In addition to big numbers (we had a couple of local tournaments this fall with over 700 participants), we have had excellent results from local teams and individuals at state and national tournaments. 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 our area? How does the future look? These questions and more will be addressed during this informative presentation.

3:00-3:30 Break for refreshments.

3:30-4:00 Jerry Nash, Scholastic Director for USCF, presents Strategies to Introduce Chess as an Educational Tool: Coordinating the Five Communities.
Scholastic chess has seen a dramatic increase within the last twenty years. In 1988, the United States Chess Federation’s youth and scholastic members totaled approximately 7000. By 2002, the two age groups combined for over 53,000 members. In April, 2005, the USCF-sponsored Super Nationals (a combination of kindergarten through high school) registered over 5300 students. Whether by memberships, tournament participation, or by the number of scholastic programs and organizations created to advance scholastic chess, the growth of chess among youth in the U.S. has been amazing, especially considering the fact that chess receives comparatively little funding. The state of chess in education may be characterized by its status as two types of programs: after-school and curriculum instruction. By far the majority of scholastic chess programs fall within the after-school category. Few school systems allow chess to be taught as an optional curriculum subject and this tends to be in larger cities. While the education community clamors for the teaching of math skills, critical thinking skills, and character development, it has been slow to accept chess as a valid teaching tool. The coordination of four communities – educational, civic, business, and political communities – along with the chess community is critical for the development of opportunities to demonstrate the value of chess for instruction.
4:00-4:30 Rosalyn B. Katz, author of The New Jersey Chess Bill; Chess in the Classroom; Start Playing Chess; and, Play Better Chess, presents Make it Legal – Chess Legislation and Application.
New Jersey’s Chess Bill was passed in 1993. Fifteen years later, we examine such questions as: What good did it do? How and why was it done? How did we overcome obstacles and constraints? Is similar activity a viable option for your state? How can we go even further? Those interested in expanding chess in their own states in a legalistic and practical way, will find an organized approach to success. Booklets about the process will be provided for those in attendance by the NJ State Chess Federation. Roz will offer individual consultation, at no additional charge, from August 6th through August 11th for promoters developing action plans for their own states.

4:30-5:00 Dr. Tim Redman, editor of Chess and Education: Selected Essays from the Koltanowski Conference, presents Chess and Syntax: An Hypothesis.

Location: Held during the U.S. Open, August 2-August 10, 2008The Westin Park Central12720 Merit DriveDallas, TX 752511-888-627-7032$99 Chess Rate

Participant fee information:
For the U.S. Open workshop: $10 for participants post-marked by July 24th, $15 at the U.S. Open site.

Address for participant registration:
For USCF workshop, send advance fees (made out to U.S. Chess Trust Chess in Education fund) to:
Dr. Alexey Root
500 Sunrise Cove
Denton, TX 76209

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