Advocates want chess to have greater role
Kelli Jacobi • The (Monroe) News-Star • July 20, 2008

MONROE – Along the Gulf Coast in southwestern Louisiana, Henry Heights Elementary in Calcasieu Parish teaches by this simple mission statement: ” … to provide an education that allows all students the opportunity to grow and develop to their fullest potential.”

Ina F. Delahoussaye, Calcasieu Parish director of technical assistance for school improvement, believes chess may be the key.

Chess – a 2,000-year-old game said to be “the touchstone of the human intellect” – is seeing a dramatic increase within the scholastic community, though it has flourished in some places more than others.

Numerous studies have concluded chess develops mental abilities used throughout life such as concentration, critical thinking and abstract reasoning, and it can be used as a tool to teach problem-solving and reasoning.

Delahoussaye used grant funding to start scholastic chess clubs in southern Louisiana years ago, following an analysis of the game’s effect in improving academic outcomes in other states.

Chess clubs since have proliferated along the I-10 corridor, and a Louisiana Chess Association roster of state winners attests to its growth there.

But schools in the northeastern part of the state have been slower to incorporate chess as a valid teaching tool, and existing chess clubs are small in number.

Here is the full article.

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