Our Stories

Chess – For The Fun Of It

It’s so much easier to do something you find fun. Teachers know this. It’s why they spend hours compiling lesson plans for students, trying their best to include engaging tasks to enhance learning. It’s no secret – the human brain loves a good time.

We adults forget this. We drudge through duties for home and work, checking boxes off our “to do” lists. Just knock it out, we tell ourselves. At the end of the day, we’re thankful for a few checks… only to realize more boxes loom in our mental dungeons. Another day is gone. But where was the fun?

Recently, a few of us lucky, fun-forgetting adults were privileged to spend the day with an exceptional group of students. Together we celebrated the joy of a game of checks and boxes – chess!  While there were plenty to do’s to be done to make the 2019 Ray Joiner Chess Tournament happen, the laughter and learning made it worth every checkmate.

It was a really good time.

Not only did students master new chess moves, but they learned about planning, flexibility, mistakes, winning, and losing. They had the opportunity to expand their comfort zones. Each took part in a bit of friendly competition… just for the fun of it.

And watching them reminded us adults to lighten up. The boxes are always there. It’s how you check them that counts.

Ray Joiner knew what good teachers know. When the learning is fun, the learning comes easily. It sticks with you. Many of the students who participated were taught chess by Ray. It showed.

And for just a day… we all got to play in the castle Ray built.

By Nancy Carol Inguanzo, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator

See the 2019 Medal Winners here.