Schools and Chess Clubs

Chess-for-Youth Programs: Schools need chess equipment to start a chess program. We have met our goal! Thank you for your support.

The U.S. Chess Trusts Chess-For-Youth program operates under a very simple premise chess makes kids smarter and should be an opportunity available to all students across the country.

Playing chess has proven to help students enhance their creativity, improve their power of concentration , develop and expand critical thinking skills, boost memory and retention, and achieve superior academic performance.

Additionally , chess has been shown to augment problem-solving capabilities, provide cultural enrichment, advance intellectual maturity, and enhance self-esteem.

We know that these are qualities that school administrators, parents, and teachers desire for their students. We want to help.

Most schools do not have the budget to start a chess program, you can help change that.

List of schools we have helped in the last 12 months.

  • Bret Harte Chess Club – Modesto CA
  • New Vista Middle School – Lancaster CA
  • Riley/New Dawn School – San Diego CA
  • A.I. DuPont Middle School Student Ambassadors – Wilmington DE
  • Chess Assasins – Dover DE
  • Lighthouse Christian School – Dagsboro DE
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Sunrise FL
  • Chapel Hill Elementary School – Decatur GA
  • Park Creek Elementary School – Dalton GA
  • Harlan Elementary School – Mount Pleasant IA
  • Wilson Elementary – Caldwell ID
  • Connections for the Homeless/United Chess Com – Evanston IL
  • Michigan City High School – Michigan City IN
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Georgetown KY
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Baton Rouge LA
  • Beechwood Superintendent’s Academy – Baton Rouge LA
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Brockton MA
  • Athol Public Library – Athol MA
  • Oakham Center School – Oakham MA
  • Post Oak Academy – Lansing MI
  • Marcus Garvey Academy – Detroit Ml
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Rolling Fork MS
  • Helena Flats SD#15 – Kalispell MT
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Sanford NC
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Bogota NJ
  • East Hanover Middle School – E Hanover NJ
  • Academy Charter High School – Lake Como NJ
  • Roy Martin Middle School – Las Vegas NV
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Wallkill NY
  • Meadow Hill GEMS – Newburgh NY
  • Lenape Elementary School – New Paltz NY
  • PTA Association – Brooklyn NY
  • Galion Intermediate School – Galion OH
  • Cristo Rey Columbus High School – Columbus OH
  • Lighthouse Christian School – Akron OH
  • Fairless HS Chess Club – Navarre OH
  • Pilot Butte Middle School – Bend OR
  • Calcutt Middle School Chess Club – Central Falls RI
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Knoxville TN
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – Dallas TX
  • Miller’s Point Elem School – San Antonio TX
  • Indian Ridge Middle School, Freddie Chavira – El Paso TX
  • Indian Ridge Middle School, Mr. Valles – El Paso TX
  • Indian Ridge Middle School, Mr. Diaz – El Paso TX
  • South Loop Elementary School – El Paso TX
  • Eastwood Knolls International School – El Paso TX
  • Celia Hags Elementary UIL Teams – Rockwell TX
  • John F Kennedy Middle School – Suffolk VA
  • Cedar Lane School – Vienna VA
  • Monona Grove HS – Monona WI
  • Martha Elem Chess Club – Barboursville WV


Ryan Academy High School

The U.S. Chess Trust provided chess equipment to Ryan Academy High School – a move that helped these new chess players find wisdom in chess play.

This is what their teacher, Lisa Suhay, had to say.

Each day at a small private school in Norfolk I teach four courses: 12th Grade British Literature; 9th grade composition; journalism and creative writing. The breakthrough tool, however, was the game of chess.

I went into the classroom with three boards, a set of descriptions of each piece as a character (knight, king, queen, bishop, pawn/soldier, castle/rook) and a very crazy teaching plan.

Students in all my classes would learn to play. No excuses.

Results were immediate and dramatic. My discipline problems pretty much evaporated. Students with ADD, ADHD, dyslexia were transformed into chess-a-holics. Those who previously were labeled by themselves and others as least likely to succeed were suddenly winners.

Since we had nearly 40 players we formed the school’s first chess club. I applied to the U.S. Chess Trust in Walkill, NY and the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association in Richmond for aid in the form of more chess boards.  The U.S. Chess Trust agreed to supply boards so we can keep all the students in play. The U.S. Chess Trust also featured our school on its national website.

Then I set them all to the task of writing Chessays (chess essays): “How is chess like life?”  Those essays are piled beside me as I write and from them shines a light so bright it brings tears to my eyes.

“I am a pawn in the board of life. My power is limited. A lot of times people see me as the weakest piece, but what they don’t know is someday I will be the strongest. Pieces, known as my family and friends, fall around me but the only thing I can do is move forward,” wrote one 16-year-old. “Like a Raisin in the sun, my dream was deferred. My King had fallen. It felt like the game was over…”

An 18-year-old girl wrote, “Life is not an easy game to play…There is not one smile that is permanent. Love comes and goes. Heartache is a deleterious emotion that can make our ways of thinking very destructive. This is our battle.”  It’s chess, but they’re not just playin’ anymore.