Harrisonburg chess program teaching kids the game through storytelling

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 10:06 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The game of chess has been played for over 1,500 years, and an organization called Chess at 3, also known as Story Time Chess has been carrying the tradition and teaching kids ages 3 and up about the game.

The program started in New York City, and has multiple locations throughout the world, including right here in the Shenandoah Valley.

Harrisonburg native Sarah Stevens brought the program to the Friendly City when she moved back home in the fall of 2020. She says it’s fun to watch the kids learn the game through the unique instruction of storytelling.

“Every piece is a character not just a piece on the chessboard. It’s a character we tell you a silly story to explain how they move. And then once the kids know all the piece movements, we have hundreds more stories that teach piece value that teaches chess notation that goes on to teach tactics,” Regional Director for Chess at Shenandoah Valley Sarah Stevens said.

Chess at 3 has partnered with the JMU Youth Center as well as Redeemer Classical School, and also offers individual lessons. The program will be hosting camps through JMU this summer. Click here for more information on the programs and how to sign up.

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