[imagefield_assist|fid=8943|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=Students at Blossom Wood Day School now have chess as an option for after-school programming in 2011.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=275|height=181]On Friday, January 7, Scholastics Coordinator Alex Vergilesov made his first visit to Blossom Wood Day School in Hazelwood. This was the first time in the history of the school that chess lessons were offered as an option for after-school programming. Vergilesov and club employee Mike Kummer drove out to the event where they met up with a recently hired part-time instructor, Sam Hatfield. When they arrived 32 students were eagerly awaiting their first-ever chess lesson!
Kummer instructed a group of 16 K-4 students separately, while Vergilesov trained Hatfield on how to lead and implement a lesson. Sixteen more enthusiastic students in grades 4-7 made their first steps in understanding chess. The instructors began with a pawn exercise, challenging the students to play out “pawn wars” where the victory condition was promotion; the first player to promote a pawn wins.
The class was extremely enthusiastic, and soon the competition of the students filled the room with excitement. The instructors then were able to move on to bishops and rooks before the end of the lesson, challenging the students to practice piece capture and piece safety techniques.
"Overall, I was extremely satisfied with the performance of both classes," Vergilesov said. "The program at Blossom Wood will undoubtedly prosper. I offer my thanks to Mikia Pollard, Head of School, who contacted the CCSCSL to inquire about our scholastics program."
Further information on the school can be found on their website: http://www.blossomwooddayschool.org/index.html.
For more information on how you can get scholastic chess programming in your school, please contact:
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis