Voted LEC Partner of the Year in 2016, tutors from the Norfolk Police Department have impacted hundreds of children in Hampton Roads. But one hour a week to help with tutoring wasn’t enough. NPD Corporal David Benjamin decided to teach children chess. In addition to the fifty officers tutoring, twenty officers started the Chess Program at Richard Bowling Elementary, for one hour a week, one day a week.

“I think it’s important to have open communication in our community. That helps build trust. It starts with that initial conversation, and one of the things the LEC is very good at doing is starting that conversation,” said Benjamin. Open to any student who shows interest, the chess program allows students and officers to interact while developing logic and strategic thinking skills. Research suggests chess can improve academic performance. In 2000, a landmark study found that students who received chess instruction scored significantly higher on all measures of academic achievement, including math, spatial analysis, and non-verbal reasoning ability (Smith and Cage, 2000).

The Chess Program will expand to additional schools in the Fall of 2017. For more information, contact us at info@lecliteracy.org.

Research posted by Wendi Fischer. “Educational Value of Chess.” http://education.jhu.edu/, John Hopkins School of Education, http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/strategies/topics/thinking-skills/chess/. Accessed Jan 24, 2017.