Our first Chess Square One, designed for absolute beginners, children and their (grand)parents.
“I think our society would benefit in many ways if parents spent the time to teach their children chess. The bonding experience alone is amazing and the skills kids get from the game will help them in life. Plus their immediate schooling would be enhanced,” Laura Sherman, Tampa, FL, author of Chess is Child’s Play.
Chess Square One idea is this, it provides (grand)parents – even those who are not familiar with chess yet – with a simple and effective method (I developed for Kennesaw State University) for teaching their kids, plus free counseling and mentoring down the road!
This is a great way everybody spends some quality time together, family bonding and having fun. Think Family Game Night! Leave your digital devices alone for a short while and have some real good time together.
Tell your family and friends about this great (and free) opportunity to learn the basics of chess, the best game ever invented.
To promote chess and make it accessible to more people, we will be rotating places and times, covering north and northwest of metro Atlanta: Marietta, Kennesaw, Smyrna, Vinnings, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Roswell, Alpharetta (let me know if you may have in mind a specific place and time for organizing Chess Square One in your neighborhood!).
We want to let you know about a new group we organize in Atlanta called the Laboratory for Intergenerational Learning. These are questions members wish to ask of one another:
What style of learning would be most effective for your child, student, resident, patient or loved one?
What physical, visual, motor or cognitive impairments are important to manage?
Would a therapeutic recreational activity enhance your care setting or lifestyle in some way?
What kinds of specialized training in cognition or memory care might interest you?
Are you curious about intergenerational learning opportunities?
These are the top categories we are targeting for membership:
Alzheimer’s Disease · Parenting & Family · Mental Health Counselors · Social Gaming · Early Diagnosis Dementia · Caregivers to Seniors · Family Outdoor Recreation · Sandwich Generation · Adults Taking Care of Aging Parents · Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease · Occupational Therapy · Holistic Health · Cognitive Behavior Therapy – CBT · Improving Memory · Autism and Asperger’s
As a sidenote, our Facebook community group, Intergenerational Learning, is worldwide, so we welcome you, your staff and volunteers to share ideas with us about social mentoring and group learning. We sincerely hope to continue building relationships together outside our region and look forward to future conversations.
The organizers are very new to the aging services community, but truly feel the wonderful game of chess can and will benefit families and groups. The game of chess is being unearthed in a new and balanced way to improve social interactions. Chess is being adapted to exploit metacognition (learning to learn) and situational analysis. As a result, family relationships may be strengthened and channels to personal growth developed. “Chess Therapy” as its been called builds on strong breakthrough energies as the power of the game becomes a gateway to understanding the natural world.
If you have a taste for intrigue, or learning about chess for the very first time (we hope you are), we encourage you to explore the game of chess through a Canadian television series released in 2011 called Endgame. Shown in the series as a set of “life lessons”, we hope you enjoy Endgame as much as we have. The game’s enduring principles have been handed down through tireless generations in search for what lies beneath the surface in so many aspects of our lives. This is a social mentoring program for creating intergenerational bonds that we feel are so important with an increasingly aging society that will soon be lost.
Through life’s journey we may reflect on and refine our decisions. Life is a game, but not one of chance. It is a struggle for balance, simplicity, interdependence and goodwill. The process of learning the game of chess even still is experimental and is really a laboratory for learning the game of life. The endgame has no end in sight. Chess offers a lifetime of opportunity to learn, enjoy and teach this truly remarkable game.
I know a reputable chess instructor who would like to add at least one new chess coach to work four afternoons per week to assist with chess in after-school programs. Program times differ for each school, but only require being onsite each day for 1 1/2 hours.
The pay is weekly and private chess lessons will be offered to the person selected. Coaching candidates must be able to pass a school required background check and have experience working with groups of children. Strong communication skills are a must. These coaches must also be reliable. Chess afternoon programs are set by each school and typically are 20 weeks per year.
The chess instructor also has summer camps that offer extra hours a few weeks in June and July. If you are interested send me a brief description of your experience to ChessMadeFun@gmail.com
Please also pass along a resume and availability Monday – Friday. I will pass your information on to the chess instructor hiring for this position.
Last weekend was something new for my wife and me. Yvonne’s aunt invited us several weeks ago to go horseback riding – we finally did. She also introduced us to Sandra Floyd. Sandra began a wonderful program in recent years that provides fun and excitement for kids who are physically handicapped. Sandra is amazing in more ways than one. She also teaches disadvantaged kids positive “life lessons” that many would never receive. With a huge bag of chess sets in tow Yvonne & I set off to find out more…
We met Sandra in the Talladega National Forest near the Alabama-Georgia border. Over the next couple of days she introduced us to many of her newly adopted kids ranging in age from 5 years all the way up to teenagers. Many of you know the record-setting tornadoes that pillaged this region only last week, but horseback riding had everyone’s attention. Fallen trees became an obstacle for us as we navigated through the winding and hilly trails. Mealtimes around the campfire allowed for storytelling and what else…chess!
We met Greg who was one of the older and wiser young men. He told us about his grandmother. It turns out that Greg’s grandmother was on top of the chess world and was a ranking worldchess competitor! It was no surprise to see Greg give Yvonne and me tough games.
Warren and I are always looking for local chess events that we can attend. To our surprise there really aren’t too many! There was a group that met at Barnes & Noble in Roswell. That group stopped a year ago. We noticed chess.com has partnered with meetup.com to create a national chess meetup day. We are excited to find an event located in our area!
Starbucks is only 10 minutes from our house. The sun was shining early, so we had all the makings for a good morning! It was a little cool. We shivered through it and enjoyed a few hours of playing chess. At one point we had as many as five games being played at once! I had the pleasure of playing Henry, Dave, and Krish and losing to each of them. I did have one victorious rematch. I noticed that everyone was sure to acknowledge they were beginners before starting a game. You could slowly start to see who has been playing chess for years! Chess tournaments can be extremely competitive. This relaxed atmosphere of casual chess games was a lot more enjoyable for me.
I personally enjoyed meeting local chess enthusiasts and would love to keep this group going. Does anyone have ideas of locations in the Kennesaw/Marietta area that might allow 10 – 20 players to play chess comfortably for a few hours? It sounds like we missed a few people unable to make it in the morning. Maybe we can meet one Saturday morning each month and one weekday evening a month to accommodate all schedules. Warren and I created a Chess Made Fun Facebook page. We will post chess events in our area. Be sure to click on the link and “Like” our page. We will send you invitations to all events so you do not miss out on an opportunity to get your brain workout!