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One of the first tangible outcomes of the newly created Sleepy Hollow Recreation Advisory Committee is a chess club for children. The club, designed for ages 6 – 12, meets Saturday mornings from 9:30 – 11 am at the Galgano Center, located at 55 Elm Street.
“We were looking for a way to leverage this wonderful facility as well as serve the children of the community”, said Village Trustee Susan MacFarlane who Chairs the Parks and Recreation Committee and serves as liaison to the Recreation Advisory Committee.
Thanks to volunteer chess instructor and RAC member Carl Aridas, who is generously donating his time and expertise, the program is free of cost, and begins children on a lifelong journey of learning chess. Beginning sessions show how to set the pieces up and how the pieces move. Future weeks will advance to opening theory, tactical play, and endgame analysis. Chess homework is assigned at the end of each session, so children can continue their studies other than on Saturday mornings. Chess tournaments are planned, where trophies will be awarded for participants, all free of charge.
According to the United States Chess Federation, chess helps children with focusing, visualizing and thinking ahead while weighing options. Studies have been done in various locations around the United States and Canada, showing that chess results in increased scores on standardized tests for both reading and math.
A study on a large-scale chess program in New York City, which involved more than 100 schools and 3,000 children, showed higher classroom grades in both English and Math for children involved in chess. Studies in Houston, Texas and Bradford, Pennsylvania showed chess leads to higher scores on the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking.
Growing rapidly, the program still has plenty of open space for additional kids who want to learn chess, said Trustee MacFarlane.
If anyone would like more information, please call the Sleepy Hollow’s Recreation Department at 914-366-5109.