UA students will be teaching chess to sixth graders at the new Tuscaloosa City School district magnet school.
The UA Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility partnered with the Freedom Chess Academy, a local nonprofit organization, to begin the Every Move Counts: A Chess in Education project.
“This is one of the first programs of its kind in the country, and we’re excited about its potential,” said Stephen Black, director of the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility.
UA students received training for the initiative through the Freedom Chess Academy by meeting weekly and being instructed on how to teach chess to children and the benefits chess can have in education.
For two mornings every week, UA students teach chess as a part of club activities day to 12 students.
“Seeing the kids become enthusiastic about the game has been enjoyable for me to witness. They really want to get better and learn more all the time,” said Matt Tucker, a sophomore majoring in biology who is involved with Every Move Counts.
The Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility said chess has been shown to improve English, reading and math skills, as well as analytical and concentration skills. For academically at-risk children, chess has been reported to better their school attendance, improve self-control, and increase their motivation.
Thirty nations around the world have included chess in their educational systems because of the benefits it produces. The United States has recently begun seeing the academic benefits of chess, and several states have added it to their curriculum.
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