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Chess enriches schools

Published:Friday | October 17, 2014 | 10:00 AM
Chess matches in progress at a recent tournament sponsored by the Digicel Foundation. As part of its Education Enrichment Programme, the foundation will be adding 20 more schools to the Chess In Schools Programme. - Contributed

The Magnificent Chess Foundation's (MCF) mission is to use the art of teaching and learning chess as a tool to create better communities and societies in Jamaica.

Specifically, the game's introduction is a means of improving the focus and thinking of students who may have learning challenges. The organisation has introduced chess to more than 35 schools in Kingston and St Andrew, Manchester and Clarendon, as well as to a number of community groups. With the support of the Digicel Foundation, MCF will expand the programme to an additional 20 primary schools across Jamaica. These primary schools are a part of the foundation's enrichment programme which is aimed at improving students' performance in reading and mathematics. Both students and teachers will be engaged by coaches in critical-thinking sessions as individuals, in groups, as well as using information and communication technology.

According to Digicel Foundation Education Programme Manager Dane Richardson, the foundation targets interventions aimed at improving numeracy and literacy in primary schools.

"And so, we are very expectant of all the benefits that this new partnership will bring," he said. "Creating more focused and confident students with improved critical thinking skills is extremely exciting while very rewarding."