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Proviso West Chess Team Branches Out to Teaching Game to Youngsters

May 9, 2014 08:50 AM
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The Proviso West High School chess team has been branching out this year, bringing the game of chess to area youth every week at the Bellwood Public Library.

Members of the team have been making the trip to the Bellwood library every week for the last two years, teaching the game to children ages 5 to 14. Born out of a desire to serve the community, the Proviso West students have been able to show youngsters a new game and a new way to think.

"Not only are we introducing them to chess, we’re helping them learn to think and how to focus," said Christian Rivera, a Proviso West senior.

Mr. Jozsef Rosko, a Proviso West math teacher and the chess team sponsor, said that the students have been enthusiastic about helping out in not only in bringing the game to others, but also in improving their own game.

"When you teach somebody, it’s helping you to understand and be a better chess player," Mr. Rosko said. "We get these 25 kids weekly and they keep coming back. They’re bringing their little brothers and sisters. Everyone who wants to play can play."
 
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Mr. Rosko also said that one advantage in teaching young children chess is that it also builds a foundation for the Proviso West team when the children eventually come to the school.

The response from the youth and their parents has been good as well.
 
Ms. Diana Sills, the head of youth services at the Bellwood Public Library, said in a letter to Mr. Jerry Jenkins, the activities coordinator at Proviso West, that the Proviso West students have been well received.

"The students from Proviso West make such a difference," Ms. Sills wrote. "I can't tell you how many times I've had a parent come in with a bashful child so that he or she can learn how to play chess. I locate one of Mr. Rosko's students and they graciously take the newbie under their wing. Your students are some of the nicest, most polite teens I’ve met."

Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West, said that the chess team has helped the school to make strides in strengthening its relationship with the community.

"These students are doing a great service in teaching others the game of chess," he said. "In doing so, they are helping us to build even stronger ties to the community and giving these children another reason to look forward to one day being a Proviso West Panther themselves."
 
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