Fort Greene’s Farragut Houses has produced its share of basketball prodigies, but the word is now out they may also have the next Bobby Fisher in the making.
That after the Public School 307 elementary school chess team for fourth- and fifth-graders last month won the Brooklyn team championship and placed second in the national team championship in Nashville.
“There’s a buzz at the school. One kid came to school with wooden chess board and wants to walk around school to play chess. The kids are just loving it,” said teacher coordinator Debbie Bertram, adding that 95 percent of the students are African-American and come from the Farragut Houses.
The school is located at 209 York Street close to the Farragut Houses, which is at 251 Nassau Street.
Bertram explained that the chess team, which has been in place for about three years at the school, comes via the non-profit Chess-in-the-Schools organization whose mission is to teach chess to inner-city kids.
The team’s coach, Clare Broomfield, who comes to the school from the organization every Thursday for about two-and-a-half hours, called P.S. 307 “My Cinderella success story.”
“I teach in four schools – two in Queens, one in the Bronx and this one in Brooklyn,” said Broomfield.
“The secret is their passion for the game. While other coaches teach strategy and tactics, these kids have a love for the game. They hate losing most definitely,” she added.
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