USCF Goes to DC for After School Alliance Event
February 11, 2013
US Chess Federation President Ruth Haring and Marketing Director Robert McLellan went to Washington, D.C. last week to participate in the After School Alliance's After School for All Challenge event. 

In America today, 15.1 million children are alone and unsupervised in the hours after school. Afterschool for All brings together individuals and organizations from across the nation who support the vision that all children and youth deserve access to quality, affordable afterschool programs.

At this year's event some 300 people from across the nation, including Hawaii and Alaska, gathered to work on such diverse topics as how to implement Common Core State Standards into after school curriculum, how to address initiatives by many state agencies to more strictly define what constitutes a quality after school program. We also brainstormed practices and ideas for growing programs while dealing with increasing competition for financial resources.

USCF was proud to be a sponsor. The event program included an evening screening of the film "Brooklyn Castle" which After School holds out as a model of how after school and in school day programs can work together. Assistant principal and chess program coordinator at IS 318 John Galviin received this year's National After School Champion Award. The film is bringing unprecedented attention to chess in education, while John continues to tirelessly promote chess and after school programs in the media and at festivals and conferences across the nation. Later this month he returns to DC to participate in a panel at the America's Promise Alliance conference, the nation's largest partnership working for youth, founded by General Colin Powell and his wife.

John's award was presented at a breakfast event in the historic Kennedy Caucus Room on Capitol Hill. The event was attended by after school education leaders as well as Senators Barbara Boxer, Lisa Murkowski, and Sheldon Whitehouse, and other elected officials. Afterwards John joined other delegates from New York to meet with staff members at Senator Gillibrand's office and several New York state congressional leaders.

While time in DC was short, Ruth made a point to visit with executives from one of our new affiliates', Chess Challenge in DC. She also visited one of their after school programs at Brent Elementary, a school very near the Capitol. Chess Challenge Executive Director Suzy Hirsch and Coach Dave Byrd soon put Ruth to work with the kids practicing Rook and King vs. King checkmates.

Brooklyn Castle is now available on video on demand and iTunes across the nation. USCF is continuing to work with the film's distributors to find ways to present the film to community leaders and education officials across the nation. If you would like to host a screening, contact them at [email protected]