Chess in the Triangle of Hope
The Leacock Foundation’s Triangle of Hope connects an independent school in Toronto with a high-needs school in Toronto and with a high-needs school in Eastern Cape, South Africa.
When students at Branksome Hall were leaving for a visit to their partner school in Queenstown, South Africa, they became aware of a need for chess sets. So the Leacock Foundation reached out to Annex Chess Club.
Partnering with the Chess Institute of Canada, who already provides chess programming in schools in some of Toronto’s “priority” neighborhoods, we were pleased to be able to provide a number of standard tournament sets with vinyl boards.
Ted Winick, our founder and currently the Chair of our Board, who is also the President of CIC, took the lead on the initiative.
Here are the chess coaches at Get Ahead Project School, Queenstown, with their new sets in hand.
Thanks to the Leacock Foundation for giving us the opportunity to help support chess in South Africa.
UPDATE (May 26): It was wonderful to receive the following letter this week from the Leacock Foundation.
Dear Mr. Winick and the Annex Chess Club,
Thank you so much for your generous donation of chess sets to the Get Ahead Project school in Queenstown, South Africa. Located on the Eastern Cape, South Africa’s poorest province, the Get Ahead Project spans three campuses and hosts over 1400 students from grade primary to matric. The Leacock Foundation provides funding and support for the Get Ahead Project schools, knowing that education provides youth a route out of poverty and a chance to be empowered in shaping a community.
This year at Get Ahead, two teachers, Mr. Simon and Mr. Zata established a Chess Club for students to participate in after school. Students from grades 8 to 12 have joined the club and meet regularly to learn and play chess. Although we weren’t there to see their reactions when they received the chess sets, we’ve been told by our South African colleagues both Chess Club instructors were absolutely thrilled and incredibly grateful. Both Mr. Simon and Mr. Zata are passionate about chess and recognize the importance of teaching it as a tool for problem solving, teamwork, and math literacy.
Moving forward, our Toronto Program Director Pat, will continue the conversation with Leacock’s Triangle of Hope partner schools here in Toronto about possibly initiating some after-school chess programming for next fall. She will keep you updated and let you know if a school becomes interested in getting involved.
Thanks again, Mr. Winick. Your thoughtful generosity is truly appreciated. We look forward to staying in touch and expanding the scope of chess education both here and in South Africa.