Progress With Chess – Officers Teach Life Lessons Through Chess

Progress With Chess, Inc.

The Progress With Chess program, under the Department of Student Activities, commenced during the 2001-2002 school year and has been met with enthusiastic support from administrators, principals, teachers, and students. The Program has provided instruction to over 500 students each year, introducing chess to most for the first time. Chess instruction now takes place during the regular school day in seven K-8 schools, one day per week, in 3-6 classrooms per school (30 classrooms total) for fifteen weeks.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District has supported the program by providing funds to purchase the chess sets for all participating schools and covering many of the expenses involved the our year-end Chess Challenge, a tournament and exhibition at the downtown public library for all participating students. The School District has also covered costs associated with transportation, lunches, table rental, trophies, teacher and administrative time.

The Cleveland Public Library also has supported the efforts of the program. For the past twelve years, the Library has donated the use of the auditorium and the use of an entire floor of the library for two days during the Chess Challenge. In addition, the Library has donated hundreds of hours of staff time to help with planning and conducting of the event, which brings a lot of joy to the participants.

From 2003-2008, Progress With Chess received a grant from the Cleveland Metropolitan Schools 21st Century After School Program. Our current funders include RPM, Inc., The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation and The United Black Fund.

Additional support for the program has come from the Cleveland Division of Police, which allows officers like Detective Carl Bowers and Patrol Officer Erwin Eberhardt to take time from their busy schedule to play chess with the students at the Library Chess Challenge. The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association and The Black Shield donate scholarship money to the schools with the most trophy winners at the Chess Challenge on a yearly basis.

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