Check Mate!

Natalie Staff Image

Libraries aren’t just for books anymore. Around the country we serve a vital purpose in communities, offering safe spaces for kids and teens to hang out, mess around and geek out. In some libraries that might mean offering video game tournaments or anime clubs. Oftentimes it also means providing adults, both in the form of staff and local volunteers, who are available to hang out with kids, read with them, help with homework and just be a familiar, caring face.

2014 March Chess Tournament 3 cropped
Kids compete in the 2014 Chess Tournament at CLP – Sheraden.

 

In November of 2015 the Officer David Shifren of the Pittsburgh Police partnered with CLP – Hazlewood to offer the Pittsburgh Police Chess Club. Chess has long been acknowledged as a great way for students to learn analytical thinking.  According to the website Chess in the Schools, a 1999 study found that chess-playing fifth-graders had a 91.4% success rate for handling problems with emotional intelligence, while non-chess-playing fifth graders only had a 64.4% success rate.

Hazelwood’s program has been going strong, and thanks to its success, Officer Tiffany Costa is bringing the Pittsburgh Police Chess Club program to CLP – Sheraden. Officer Costa has been participating in the Sheraden’s Reading Buddies program throughout the winter and spring and has been a great addition to the Sheraden branch, supporting kids and teens through literacy help, activities and games. Starting this Friday, June 24th she, along with other Pittsburgh Police Officers, will be available from 4 to 5 pm at Sheraden to offer chess tutoring, practice and games to kids and teens in the Sheraden neighborhood.

Chess teaches kids critical thinking skills; instills in them the habit of constantly evaluating the board; anticipating how that board is going to change.

Sheraden Manager Ian E., an avid chess player himself, believes in the power of chess as a life tool especially for kids.  “Chess teaches kids critical thinking skills; instills in them the habit of constantly evaluating the board; anticipating how that board is going to change,” he says. “When playing chess it’s not enough to simply think about the moves you want to make but you also have to take into account your opponents intentions.”

We are excited to be a partner with the Pittsburgh Police, and to offer this program to our patrons in Sheraden. If you are interested in checking it out this Friday stop on down and play a game with us!

Natalie is a Children’s Library Assistant at CLP – Sheraden, and really only got the job so she could enjoy the perks (did yinz know about the free books?). Brevity is not her strong suit, so unless you want to waste your lunch hour, stay clear of her.