After school chess club is growing In a pilot project, Julie Stewart, Austin Elementary teacher, has expanded her after school chess club to include Cinda Passick's second grade class along with some of her former students, currently in the third through sixth grades.
She had been approached by some community members earlier this year who were interested in starting a chess club for children. Stewart has been encouraging chess in her classroom for years, using older students from the middle school to teach the game.
Each child records their moves as they play to be able to review the game with a coach later. Thirty-five children are currently involved with interest running high.
"It is very rewarding to see the intensity with which the children play," Passick said.
LJ Ottenbacher, USD Chess Club president, along with Mark Hansen and Mark Derby have been working with Vermillion students to expand their knowledge of the game's strategies and tactics. Larry Monfore, Vermillion Middle School teacher, has been running a board game homebase club that features chess playing as well as other games.
The Sioux Empire Chess Foundation supports the Vermillion Chess in the Schools Program by providing equipment for tournaments and chess boards and pieces for the children.