Community Chess Program: Checkmate
01 Aug 19 by Claire Burden
Year 11 student and Head of Chess, Henry Cronin, has come up with a fantastic plan to have our Cranbrook chess team give back to and build relationships with seniors in our local community. He has completed an application for a community grant to support the program and we would love for you to take the time to read about it and hopefully vote!
“I have been interested in creating this program as there are many service-based opportunities available at Cranbrook, but few that involve the elderly or are as interpersonal as the one I am proposing. I have always enjoyed playing chess, and I believe that this program would allow us to build positive relationships with such important members of our community through chess” - Henry Cronin.
The project provides seniors with opportunities for socialisation through chess, which improves self-image, decreases the risk of depression, and strengthens overall emotional health. Additionally, research has linked chess to lower rates of dementia, as well as improved information retention, physical health and problem-solving skills, thus resulting in improved quality of life. The project will also allow for seniors to be connected with younger generations, providing benefits to the whole community.
This project will offer improved opportunities for community bonding and intergenerational sharing of experiences and knowledge through chess. It will help to promote the transmission of cultural traditions and values and bring diverse groups together. Intergenerational programs have been shown to increase positivity and improve health within seniors.
The project will be carried out by Year 11 student Henry Cronin in association with student volunteers from Cranbrook School chess team and supported by Ms Burden. The funding will be used to attain chess boards and pieces, as well as trainers and staff. It will be carried out through fortnightly lessons with the elderly over the course of the next twelve months. Quality of life surveys will be completed by the elderly throughout.
My Community Project funds projects in each NSW electorate to help improve the wellbeing of people and communities. Successful projects will be determined through a public vote and the projects that receive the most support will receive funding. Up to $260,000 is available for each electorate. My Community Project is made possible by the NSW Generations Fund.