About the Program
Mr. Verlin Jay Alexander, III, M.S.
About the Program
Greater Kings & Queens Chess is a program implementing after-school chess in the Christina School District elementary schools in the city of Wilmington. Working closely with caring and motivated teachers this program immerse students in a positive and safe environment fostering creativity, critical thinking, and decision-making skills for the purposes of developing strategies in decreasing behaviors leading to youth violence and poor academic performance.
According a study by Dr. Robert Ferguson, executive director of American Chess School, in three groups totaling 437 fifth graders, those who received a chess enriched curriculum beginning in the first grade presented an increase from 62% to 81.2% in problem solving, and a 12.02% difference in comprehension (Ferguson, R., 2001).
Why Wilmington, Delaware?
Many dangers and challenges face inner-city minority (African American and Hispanic) children during their after-school hours (Barton, J. et. al, 2001). Because of the demands of work and the low wages available in urban communities, there is often no adult at home when school is over (Barton, J. et. al, 2001). The neighborhoods are often plagued by gang violence and the drug trade, which causes many parents to prohibit their children from playing outside, exchanging safety for physical, social, and emotional development opportunities (Osofsky, 1997). Children raised in impoverished environments are at higher risk for a wide variety of health and social problems, including poor performance in school. The challenges they face in childhood can diminish their chances for successful adult lives (delawarefocus.org, 2017)
Highlights from the 2017 Young Leaders Chess Initiative