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Monsanto Fund Donates $20K for Rural Chess Programs

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Monsanto Fund and Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis Align

The educational outreach initiative of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis can stretch a little farther this fall thanks to help from Monsanto, a global leader in sustainable agricultural products headquartered in Creve Coeur, Mo.

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto, recently awarded the Chess Club a $20,580 grant to grow scholastic chess programs in 14 different rural schools across both Missouri and Illinois.

Through the Monsanto program, teachers with a basic understanding of the game will be brought to the Chess Club for intensive, one-on-one training led by the Club’s scholastic coordinator, Bill Thompson. In addition, each participating school will receive eight chess boards and sets, 16 instructional workbooks and a demonstration board for the classroom.

Upon completion of the training, the program is designed to pay each teacher to implement 10 weeks of classes at his or her school in the hopes of establishing and growing a sustainable educational program at each school. Schools will then keep all the equipment and instructional materials from the program.

Although the Chess Club already provides scholastic programming to schools all across the greater Saint Louis area, this newly launched partnership with Monsanto will allow new programs in schools that are too far away for the Chess Club to send a weekly instructor or to provide regular programming. If successful, the Chess Club hopes to see their outreach in rural areas across the region continue to grow.

In the spring semester of 2015 the club brought after school chess programming to more than 1,100 students. With growing support from corporate partners like Monsanto, the Chess Club has the opportunity to impact an even greater number of students.