Help presented itself from an unlikely source when Fund and Budget Coordinator Leroy Harris offered his assistance in jumpstarting the Chess club for Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School, but Harris provided the shot in the arm that the club needed to get enthusiastic players to join.
The club, which had dwindled to only a few students – had been waning in recent years. This year, the club has seventeen enthusiastic players – thanks in large part to Harris’ efforts.
For four years, Harris has dedicated his time and expertise to the Chess Club at Gibbs Magnet School for International Studies and at Dunbar Middle School. In addition, Harris has helped to organize city wide chess tournaments for players in grades K-8 for the last two years.
The decision to assist Parkview was an extension of the work Harris was already doing in the schools and community – and as his students became older, it just made sense to extend the program up.
“It became apparent that a gap existed betweeen LRSD high school students who played chess and opportunities to continue playing in tournament environments. I, along with other volunteers, decided to try to fill that void by volunteering at the high school level with students we’d worked with in K-8 tournaments,” Harris said.