across The Gambia are using chess as a new method to improve children’s
The United States Peace Corps, in cooperation with the Gambia Chess Federation, has introduced chess to more than 30 villages across the nation.
Chess is a game that helps train the mind like football trains the body. Playing chess can help children improve skills in mathematics and in logical thinking, according to a report by the Institute of Education Sciences.
“A young child can only spend so much time listening to a lecture before their mind starts to wander, but they always have attention for a game,” said Zachary Smith, a Peace Corps volunteer. “But, unlike games like ludo, chess can educate as well as entertain.”
A D120,000 gender development grant provided volunteers with the supplies they needed to bring this new learning tool even to remote villages. Volunteers are now planning a youth chess tournament for later this year, which will allow young Gambians to compete against one another for prizes.