Chicago – November 14, 2015: The Chicago Chess Foundation (CCF) announced today the launch of, “Rook, Rattle & Roll,” a new program to provide grants to resource-strained Chicago schools seeking to build competitive chess programs.
“Chicago’s scholastic chess environment really lags behind other major cities. While we see enthusiasm for chess, we don’t see the kind of school-based support for building competitive chess clubs and chess teams,” said CCF President Michael Bologna. “More than half of schools in cities such as Philadelphia, Miami and Portland host school-based chess programs. That number is closer to 10% in Chicago. This campaign is part of our mission to close that gap.”
Rook, Rattle & Roll hopes to provide grants to up to 10 Chicago public and private schools during the 2015-16 academic year. Grants will be used for chess sets, educational materials, and trained chess coaches. To provide these grants, a fundraiser kicked off at a free chess tournament hosted by the Youth Chess Foundation of Chicago and CCF at Earle STEM Elementary School.
“Children of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds deserve an opportunity to learn chess and compete in scholastic tournaments,” said Jim Altenbach, a CCF board member and school psychologist with Chicago Public School for 38 years. “Considerable academic research demonstrates that chess improves test scores, academic performance, concentration, decision making and creativity. With financial support and a lot encouragement, CCF will give this opportunity to hundreds of girls and boys across Chicago over the next year.”
Earlier this month, in a letter of support, Chicago Public Schools affirmed their support of the Chicago Chess Foundation and the shared goals of, “increasing the number of students and schools engaged in chess.”
The Rook, Rattle & Roll fundraiser is hosted on crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com and runs until January 2nd.