Chess-In-The Schools (CIS) wants to improve its three core youth programs, which provide services to students in 2nd-12th grades in Title I New York City public schools. The School program has weekly classroom instruction and after-school clubs where chess training and coaching are provided to elementary and middle school students. The second program, Scholastic tournaments, is held on the weekends and during school holidays. The third program, College Bound, provides high school students with college preparatory and job readiness programming, in addition to advanced chess instruction. In 2020, CIS underwent an organizational assessment to understand its position among peer organizations, as well as the needs of staff, partner schools, and program participants. CIS also partnered with a social justice organization to survey CIS staff’s perceptions and experiences around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Given findings from the assessment and survey, CIS will contract with two consultants to address capacity-building needs: First, an education consultant will refine in-person and remote curricula, bringing both in line with common core standards and DEI values. Next, a DEI consultant will create DEI training modules for staff, including a train-the-trainer plan to enable CIS to train their staff themselves in the future.
This grant will support program improvements related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at Chess in the Schools.