The intense concentration of Erica, a fifth-grader at Walnut Grove Elementary School in Ferguson, was apparent as she played chess against one of the best in the world. This fall, chess grandmasters visited Walnut Grove and Vogt elementary schools, which as part of the Ferguson-Florissant School District are benefiting from the Your Move Chess program.
Your Move Chess – a partnership between Ascension, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, and the Ferguson-Florissant School District – has brought after-school chess clubs to district students. The goal is to help them develop critical thinking skills, build confidence, and cultivate tools that can be valuable in all aspects of life.
The mission of Ascension, the largest Catholic and non-profit health system in the country, is to provide compassionate, personalized care to all, especially those in underserved communities. Some have posed the question, “Why chess?” The answer goes beyond the chess board and pieces.
Based in St. Louis, Ascension has more than 1,900 sites of care in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Ascension has learned that community health and wellness is supported not only inside the walls of a hospital, doctor’s office or other care site, but also through programs such as Your Move Chess, a program that stimulates the minds of youth and provides a fun, safe environment to learn outside of the regular classroom.
As the fall semester comes to an end, Your Move Chess has been a success, according to the superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant district, principals, instructors and students. Ascension hopes to not only sustain the program, but improve and expand it to other schools in the St. Louis area that otherwise would not have the resources to implement an after-school chess program.
On February 11, 2016, Ascension and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis are holding a fundraiser to benefit Your Move Chess. Chess Grandmasters Maurice Ashley, a champion of Your Move Chess, and Fabiano Caruana will be in attendance. The event will include chess matches, lessons, musical entertainment, and an opportunity to connect with others from the community who are working toward a common goal.
To register for the event, visit www.saintlouischessclub.org/yourmovechess
To learn more about Your Move Chess, visit www.ascension.org/yourmovechess or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On Chess is provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. Evan Goodman is a Communications Specialist at Ascension.