|State Department of Education Announces First Ever Grant Funding for Chess in Maryland Schools|
|By Joan DuBois/W.Reinhard|
|July 19, 2007|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (July 19, 2007) – The Maryland State Department of Education today announced 24 programs that will receive up to $10,000 each in grant funding to support a Chess in Maryland Schools program. The announcement took place at the MLS Learning Inc. chess program, located at Crossland High School in Prince George’s County.
Statewide funding, totaling $255,000, was made available through a budget appropriation during the 2006 General Assembly. This is the first time the Department has made funding available for chess programs in Maryland.
The MLS Learning chess program is the only program to begin operating this summer; the remaining 23 programs will begin in the fall. There are 52 students representing elementary, middle, and high school participating in the MLS Learning chess program. Overall, an estimated 750 students will participate in programs funded by the Chess in Maryland Schools grant. Any local school system, individual school, community-based organization, or not-for-profit organization that had a desire to offer chess instruction to students in Maryland schools was eligible to apply for one of the grants to support an existing or new chess program. The chess programs can occur before or after school, during the instructional day, or during the summer.
The funded programs represent 12 jurisdictions (11 counties and Baltimore City) throughout Maryland totaling 37 participating schools – nine high schools; 10 middle schools; and 18 elementary:
Anne Arundel County – 1 program (Severna Park Elementary)
“I am thrilled that the Department is providing this funding to support Chess in Maryland Schools,” said Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools. “Participation in an extended learning chess program can assist students with developing critical thinking, self-esteem, social skills, and other necessary skills to be successful in school and in other aspects of life.”
The grant funding, up to $10,000 a year per program, may be used to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of chess programs; including purchasing curriculum and supplies, costs associated with training staff and volunteers, and costs associated with tournaments and trips to enhance student’s chess experience.
“I strongly believe that Chess Programs are valuable to learning,” said State Senator Ulysses Curry (District 25, Prince George’s County), who was instrumental in getting the funding for this program. “Some research suggests that there is a connection between scholastic Chess Programs and improved academic performance.”
Grantees will be required to operate a program for a least 20 students and participate in a MSDE program-wide evaluation. The evaluation will examine the chess programs’ impact on students’ attitudes toward approaching critical thinking and problem solving activities, appropriate social interaction skills with peers and adults, perceived self-esteem and self confidence, and chess playing knowledge. In addition, each program should seek to provide opportunities for parental involvement in the chess program and increased parental knowledge about chess.
"Prince George's County public school students will benefit from this investment. We are fortunate to have local and state officials who demonstrate their support for programs that will aid us in accelerating student achievement," said Dr. John E. Deasy, Prince George's County Public Schools Superintendent.
For more information about the Chess in Maryland Schools program or to apply
WHO: Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools
WHAT: Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick and State Senator Ulysses Currie to announce the grant recipients for Chess in Maryland Schools at the MLS Learning, Inc. program in Prince George’s County. This is the first time the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) is providing grant funding of $255,000 to support chess programs throughout the state. The funding was made available through a 2006 General Assembly appropriation with strong support from Senator Currie. Twenty-four programs will receive the funding of up to $10,000 a year per program. One of the 24 programs is in operation this summer; the remaining 23 will begin operating this fall.
There are 52 students participating in The MLS Learning, Inc. chess program where students infuse math and reading into improving their chess skills.
WHEN: Thursday, July 19, 2007