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Gambian children improve learning with Chess

Feb 21, 2017, 11:38 AM | Article By: Ebrima Badjie

Communities across The Gambia are using chess as a new method to improve children’s learning. 

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. 

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