Friday, September 11, 2009

Bringing chess to Wolfforth Library

Kings & Queens: Wolfforth Library has made first move when it comes to chess
Posted by Karen Michael on September 11th, 2009

Kings and queens will now be regulars at the City of Wolfforth Library.

Two chess tables were donated to the library by iBookSwap in Lubbock.

“We’re pretty excited,” said Marie Evans, the founder of the Wolfforth Friends of the Library.

“Kids are not necessarily reading as much anymore, but they are playing computer games. A lot of kids are really not getting the development of their thinking skills that they should be getting,” said Evans.

The introduction of chess will help stimulate those cognitive skills, she said.

“It will also help them as they progress in other activities, classes in their school,” said Evans.

In playing a game, the students may not even realize the real benefit to their cognitive development, said Evans.

But the real draw for the library is pulling just a few more kids in.

“It’s just one more way we can pull these kids in, and if they’re in, they may also accidentally find a book to read,” said Evans.

Evans said eventually, the library hopes to offer chess classes for a “nominal fee.” She said having a fee ensures most people will show up for the class instead of deciding not to go at the last moment because it is free.

Instructors from the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence at Texas Tech will be available to teach the game, Evans said.

“We don’t have those set up yet, for a timed schedule, but we’re working on that. We’ve got a lot more to do on that, as far as it getting organized,” she said.

Judy Bryant, a counselor at Frenship Middle School, said she is excited to hear about the introduction of chess to the Wolfforth Library. Bryant helps run the chess club at FMS and offers chess to as many as 60 students during lunch a few days a week.

“There are so many good points about that,” she said.

Chess, she said, helps students to build self-esteem and get involved.

“Chess is a thinking game,” she said. “It just brings out the best in people, I think.

“I think it affects the brain in many different ways. You’ve got to learn strategy and problem solving,” she said, noting those are skills all students need to learn.

Parents also love for their kids to get involved in chess, she said.

In general, she said board games are also a good way for families to interact with each other.

“Board games are a very good way for families to turn off that TV,” she said.

The Wolfforth Friends of the Library will unveil the new children’s area shelving and chess tables at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the library. The Texas Tech chess group and Grandmaster Susan Polgar of SPICE will be in attendance to host demonstrations.

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