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Chess for Kids

Trend alert: Chess is cooler than ever and we've got a program you should know about. Chess is now inspiring second and third grade students around the country thanks to an innovative program from America’s Foundation for Chess: First Move. And NYC parents can lobby for this program in their schools.

This award-winning program introduces chess – with the help of The Chess Lady – as a learning tool to teach critical thinking skills, improve math, reading, behavioral and social skills, and build self-esteem and confidence in students. In 2010, First Move celebrated its 10th anniversary by engaging more than 50,000 students in nearly 2000 classrooms across 27 states. In 2011, America’s Foundation for Chess (AF4C) plans to expand the program to an additional 30,000 students nationwide.

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Wendi Fischer, AF4C Executive Director and “The Chess Lady.” says, "Our goal with First Move is to bring positive change to our educational system and make chess a regular part of every child’s classroom experience.”

The curriculum is specifically mapped to standards for second and third grade. Not only are the students benefitting from the critical thinking, group problem solving, and social interaction, but they’re also having fun. According to a study conducted by Education Northwest in 2009, more than half of First Move parents found learning chess helped improve their child’s grades and more than 62% credited the chess education program with improving their child’s attitude toward school.

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Schools interested in integrating First Move into their curriculum can call 1-866-973-2342. For more information about First Move and AF4C, visit their website, www.af4c.org or find them on Facebook.

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