Milwaukee County Board Supervisors Weddle and Rainey

July 10, 2015

unveil new chess initiative that targets inner city youths

Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Martin Weddle (left) and Khalif Rainey (right) with Milwaukee youth during the launch of the new chess initiative.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Martin Weddle, a former state chess champion, and Sup. Khalif Rainey unveiled a new program designed to teach youths how to play chess and engage in games of chess on Monday, July 6 at the McGovern Park Pavilion, 5400 N. 51st Blvd.

The program targets youths in grades 2 through 12, to include chess instruction, coaching and accessible equipment for the purpose of learning the game and skills of chess with the potential of competitive participation in tournaments.

“This is an exciting development for inner city youths and families alike,” Weddle said. “Chess is an excellent self-esteem builder and studies show participation in chess correlated with higher math and reading test scores. Chess builds mental stamina and is an excellent alternative for those who cannot engage in athletics. It also helps develop skills such as logic and critical thinking. Chess improved my quality of life and I believe it will serve our inner city youths well in their lives.”

“Studies show that chess can expand the mind and help youths with their academic pursuits,” Rainey said. “This is an important step toward giving inner city youths an activity that can actually improve their critical thinking skills, and I applaud Supervisor Weddle for sponsoring this measure.

“I am excited for the youths who will soon have the opportunity to play this fascinating game.” Weddle thanks the Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Federation for their support. He also thanks the Milwaukee Public Market for a $5,000 matching grant to help fund the program, and the Milwaukee County Parks Department.

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