Special Report: More Than a Game
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:23 PM EDT
While many students choose to spend their after school hours outdoors, some kids at Hall Fletcher Elementary School say there is an indoor activity they find just as enjoyable.
School leaders say Hall Fletcher’s chess club-in its first year- is booming, often with 30 members staying after school to play.
Chess club teacher Brian Randall says the skills the kids learn from the game translate to academic success and success in life in general.
Randall says chess helps the students slow down and analyze their actions, a process known as ‘executive functioning’ which is especially important for Hall Fletcher where 80 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunches.
Fifth grader Brad Shands is the school chess club champion.
Brad says the skills he has learned are helping him do better in school.
Another chess club member is 8 year old Bo Trantham.
His mother Angie notices how her very active, competitive son has more focus after a year in chess club.
Randall says many of the kids are playing chess at a middle school level.
While competing is a goal, Randall says a more important goal is to keep building up this inclusive club, so more students will be successful.
The chess club is in need of adult volunteers.
Interested people can contact the school if interested.
By Karen Wynne
Follow Karen on Twitter @KarenWynneWLOS