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IMG-20150714-07460Do you know that according to research, test scores improved by 17.3% for students regularly engaged in chess classes, compared with only 4.6% for children participating in other forms of enriched activities?

Interesting right? Well bearing that in mind the Sandy Hunter Library is currently offering summer chess programs for kids giving them an opportunity to learn and play or to improve their game.

Currently 15 children are engaged in the program. Far from the preserve of the academically gifted, chess also helps troubled kids to find a better focus for their energies, and allows shy or non-athletic kids an opportunity to exercise their competitive spirit. The program is being facilitated by Chess Tutor, Jose Zavala who also represents Belize in tournaments.

JOSE ZAVALA – Chess Tutor

“We just ask kids to come here and those kids who don’t know how to play chess and to learn a little about chess and the moves of the different pieces and that is it.”

Maria Novelo – Reporter

“Are these kids here are all novices?”

JOSE ZAVALA – Chess Tutor

“Oh yeah, yeah these kids are here from yesterday and I have seen a great improvement in some of them, they know what they are doing.”

Maria Novelo – Reporter

“Talk to us about the game itself, why should a kid be interested in chess?”

JOSE ZAVALA – Chess Tutor

“Kids most of the time they are in the streets sometimes not doing anything but chess is a game that it could influence them not to be related in any other bad stuff.”

The week long chess camp comes to a close on Saturday where the students will be engaging in a mini-blitz competition.

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