When Northside social worker Julianne Muir began a lunchtime chess club, she thought she’d maybe have eight or ten students show up.
But by just the second meeting, 36 third, fourth and fifth graders were enthusiastically playing in pairs in the school’s media center.
“For some of our students who need something a little different at recess time, it provides them some positive social interaction around something they really enjoy,” Muir said.
The students will play chess every Wednesday instead of taking their lunchtime recess outdoors. Muir has paired up students by their level of experience, and keeps track of their progress. She’ll run a tournament for the last two weeks and declare winners in the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
Several of the students are chess newcomers, so they’re learning from one another and more experienced players.
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