Three students from the Northeast Kingdom Learning Services' Migrant Education Program competed in the 27th annual Vermont Scholastic Chess Championship in Berlin, Vt. April 19. Over 100 students in grades kindergarten through Grade 12 competed in the event.
The Migrant Education program students -- Kyle Brown of Stowe, Dylan Holmes of Morgan and Jacob Stowell from Morrisville -- played the top chess players from throughout Vermont in five rounds of intense competition. They had the added challenge of having to notate (write down their moves) and use a chess clock. The students played against other students in their own grades with the high school (grades 9 through 12) being grouped together.
George Gruner, NEKLS Migrant Education teacher, accompanied the students and coached them prior to the championship. Gruner said, "I could not be more proud of how well the three students played and exhibited a high degree of sportsmanship in their games." Jacob Stowell won three of the five games that he played and was featured with his mom on that evening's FOX News broadcast.
Gruner said, "I believe chess is a fantastic learning tool as well as being a game to be enjoyed. Students learn strategy, the ability to think and weigh the consequences of their actions (moves), and good sportsmanship." This is the second year that students from the Migrant Education program took part in the chess championship.
Northeast Kingdom Learning Services covered the students' registration fees and tournament director Mike Stridsberg arranged to have their membership in the United States Chess Federation (USCF) paid for. The Migrant Education Program supports children in families who move frequently because one or more of their parents have agriculturally-related jobs.