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  Checkers Initiative We are in the middle of another initiative which is capturing the excitement of me, the students and staff - checkers! For a variety of reasons, students are noticeably more impulsive than they were when most of us began our professional careers in education. To counteract this and also to enhance the problem solving and spatial intelligences of our students, we have developed an initiative to teach all of our students the game of checkers.

Many studies are beginning to surface indicating a connection between high reading and other academic scores and playing checkers and chess. We are very fortunate to have as a resident of Holden, Mr. Bob Pike, former Massachusetts Checker Champion and author of several books on playing checkers. Mr. Pike has conducted a workshop for all of the teachers and is currently in the process of conducting hour long classes with every grade one through grade five class. He teaches the history of the game, the academic skills the game reinforces, the rules of the game and key pieces of strategy, and concludes by playing a game with the class using a large board with Velcro checkers he has designed. Students take home one of several checker challenge puzzles he has developed. It has been delightful for me to observe the high level of excitement and engagement demonstrated by the students during this process!

I want to encourage every family to support this initiative with at home checker matches - a very productive family activity. In grades four and five, every class will be holding a round robin checker tournament. Top performers in every class will be offered an opportunity to go into a weekly lunch / recess checker activity program conducted by teachers Patricia Hurley and Gerry Bak. They will work on checker challenge puzzles and play each other. Tournaments with other District Schools are a possibility for the future!

-Charles T. Gruszka, Principal
"Developing Competance and Caring"

Excerpt taken from the Dawson Newsletter, Volume 7, April 1997.

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© American Checker Federation 2007
This website was created by the ACF Website Team. Original site design by Clint Olsen.
Official ACF Logo design by John Acker and Lisle Cormier.
All checker board images courtesy of Vinco Online Games.