GALION — The Galion Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) “Pawns on Pawns” chess club is starting its fourth year with 45 students and a new structure.
“Fifth-grade club members entering their third year will assist Mr. (Adam) Lehman and I with instructing our first year third grade members,” said Bryan Summer, chess club co-advisor. “This new model will support our school’s slogan of student leadership, with the hope that this will help build student confidence and create new friendships.”
The club runs through March 22. Experience levels for members vary from beginner — those who have never played before — to knowledgeable.
A new feature of the club this year is the addition of a human-sized chess board that will allow for more hands-on learning opportunities for club members.
“We are excited about the new human-sized chess board because it was paid for entirely by a grant,” said Lehman. “Our hope is that this new board will generate interest because the students actually become the chess pieces.”
Paws on Pawns is a member of the United States Chess Foundation. The Galion Elementary PTO, in-kind donations from the Galion community and the National Chess Trust has assisted the club in purchasing additional chess sets to accommodate the increase in student participation.
“I want to thank Mr. Summer, Mr. Lehman and all the volunteers for their time and dedication to making the ‘Paws on Pawns’ program a huge success,” said Principal Alex Sharick, Intermediate School Principal. “We are fortunate to have a program of this caliber to further expand our students’ critical thinking and reasoning skills outside the classroom.”