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New Innovative Chess Program will help Brooklyn Teens improve their Skills on the Board and in Life

The Red Hook Community Justice Center (RHCJC) is partnering with International Chess Grand Master Maurice Ashley to run an innovative chess initiative called “Think before You Move” for Brooklyn Teens. The program will run for four weeks starting Oct. 25. The goal of Think before You Move is to teach critical thinking skills to young people through the medium of chess. Research has shown that chess instruction helps develop these thinking skills and prepares students to better approach problems, strengthen their personal discipline, counter negative peer pressure and exhibit greater self-control. Learning these skills through chess also helps enhance the students’ self-esteem as well as promote success in the classroom, the work-place and their personal lives. The program is open to local teens age 12-18. The program will also be an alternative diversion program for teens that have committed minor offenses and need to improve their decision making skills.




About Mr. Ashley: Maurice made history when he became the first African-American to attain the coveted title of International Grandmaster of Chess in 1999. He has been an ardent spokesman and advocate of the intellectual and character building effects in young people for over 15 years. GM Ashley is the world’s premier and live chess commentator for ESPN. He is a renowned speaker and consultant who has spoken to several universities and professional organizations nationally. GM Ashley has received multiple community service awards from city governments, universities, and non-profit groups for his work. His book, Chess for Success (2005, published by Broadway Books), crystallizes his vision of using chess to help at-risk youth. GM Ashley (2007) signed a deal with HBO to make a movie about his Harlem team's victory at the National Junior High School Championships.

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