2/14/2008 12:01:00 PM

Checkmate … then off to class
Contributing Writer

You can watch the thoughts moving through their heads as they contemplate their next move. But they have to hurry — class starts in fifteen minutes!

More than 30 students have joined Holmes Elementary fifth grade teacher Rich Garnai in the weekly meetings of the school’s chess club. Open to third, fourth and fifth graders, the club has a strong base of students who attend the 8:15 a.m. club meetings.

Garnai is joined in leading the group by other district employees Krista White, Shannon Barcelo and Ed Blohm.

The group started by teaching the students the basic of the game — which pieces could move how many spaces, etc.

“As the weeks progress, the students are developing more strategies and thinking about how to develop an attack and defend their pieces,” Garnai said.

Aside from the strategies of the game, Garnai said he thinks the students are learning many valuable life lessons.

“It’s been nice to see how the students learn the game and how to handle winning and losing at the same time,” Garnai said. “I have also seen students develop a lot of confidence as they are learning the complexities of the game.”

Source: www.wnewsj.com

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