Md. Dept. of Ed. To Offer Funding For Chess Programs

Chess Programs Can Occur Before Or After School During The Instructional Day, Or During The Summer

BALTIMORE – For the first time, the Maryland State Department of Education will provide grant funding up to $200,000 to support Chess in Maryland Schools. The funding was made available through a budget appropriation in the Governor’s supplemental budget during the 2006 General Assembly.

Any local school system or individual school, community-based organization, or not-for-profit organization that has a desire to offer chess instruction to students in Maryland schools is eligible to apply for one of the estimated 20 grants to support an existing or new chess program. The chess programs can occur before or after school, during the instructional day, or during the summer.

“I am thrilled that the Department has been granted these funds to support Chess in Maryland Schools,” said Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools. “Participation in an extended learning chess program can assist students with developing critical thinking, self-esteem, social skills, and other necessary skills to be successful in school and in other aspects of life.”

The grant funding, up to $10,000 a year per program, may be used to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of chess programs; including purchasing curriculum and supplies, costs associated with training staff and volunteers, and costs associated with tournaments and trips to enhance student’s chess experience.

“I strongly believe that Chess Programs are valuable to learning,” said State Senator Ulysses Curry (District 25, Prince George’s County), who was instrumental in getting the funding for this program. “Some research suggests that there is a connection between scholastic Chess Programs and improved academic performance.”

Grantees will be required to operate a program for a least 20 students; participate in a Maryland State Department of Education program that includes program-wide evaluation data collection; and conduct surveys about the programs impact on student’s attitudes toward approaching critical thinking and problem solving, appropriate social interaction skills with peers and adults, perceived self-esteem and self confidence, and chess playing knowledge. In addition, each program should seek to provide opportunities for parental involvement in the chess program and increased parental knowledge about chess.

Funding will be available as early as Spring 2007 for planning and purchasing materials for Summer and Fall 2007 programs. However, all chess programs for students must begin no later than September 30, 2007. The proposals are due February 15, 2007 by 2:00 p.m.

For more information about the Chess in Maryland Schools program or to apply for one of the grants call 410-767-0034 or visit the MSDE website at

Source: Md. Dept. of Education

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