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Pawns, Knights Enhance Students’ Focus In Bronxville

Bronxville students plays chess during their lunch periods through the Bronxville After School Clubs program.
Bronxville students plays chess during their lunch periods through the Bronxville After School Clubs program. Photo Credit: Contributed
Bronxville students plays chess during their lunch periods through the Bronxville After School Clubs program.
Bronxville students plays chess during their lunch periods through the Bronxville After School Clubs program. Photo Credit: Contributed

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Elementary school students are not only having fun and playing games with their friends during their lunch periods -- through the Bronxville After School Clubs (BASC), they’re enhancing their reasoning, focus and critical thinking skills and learning how to take responsibility for their own decisions.

Through the enrichment program offered to students in first- through fifth-grade, 175 students have been enrolled for a fee to play chess every week during their lunch period this semester. The annual program is offered for two semesters during the school year.

Each class begins with a lesson by a certified National Scholastic Chess Foundation chess instructor who teaches the students different game tactics and strategic planning. Silvio Rosato, one of those instructors, said it’s a fun game that goes beyond moving one piece at a time.

“Chess teaches you how to make a decision when you’re presented with a problem,” said Rosato. “It enriches your thinking, focus and reasoning. You’re on your own; there’s no team. You’re also responsible for your own choices.”

Assistant Principal Adrienne Laitman said chess has a positive impact on student learning. “While playing, students think critically and creatively as they anticipate their opponent’s moves and then work to develop a plan in order to strategically counter those moves,” she said.

In addition to the weekly instruction, the Chess Club encourages children to participate in tournaments. The BASC sponsors four local tournaments every year, and if there’s enough interest, they help organize a team to represent Bronxville at the U.S. Chess Federation Elementary Championship each year in spring.

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