By: Sharon Aron Baron
Coral Springs Mayor Skip Campbell wants to challenge you to a game of chess. Think you are ready?
Mayors from throughout Broward County as well as other city officials are invited to play each other and anyone else. This is a free, open play event, so registration is not necessary.
Campbell says he is ready and has been practicing on his computer, however, he didn’t sound 100 percent optimistic about his chances of winning. “I’m going to try my hardest. I think I probably will be beat.”
The event was created by Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan and Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan last June as a way to highlight the benefits of chess in an academic environment. Kaplan said that in their City, it was first inspired by Charles Cuyler, Lauderhill’s director of environmental and engineering services, who runs a chess program in the city and pushed to get more kids playing the game.
Back in 2013, Sunrise leaders started integrating chess into the curriculum of 40 second and third grade classrooms at Village, Banyan, and Discovery elementary schools.
According to the Sun Sentinel, the Sunrise Police Department stepped up to provide the additional money needed from its forfeiture funds, which are confiscated from criminals.
The program includes streaming video, a curriculum book and training for each teacher, chess sets, demonstration boards and activity workbooks for students to practice their reading and writing skills. The 50-minute lessons are taught once a week.
The Mayors’ Chess Challenge is being held on Saturday, February 14, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Mullins Hall located within Mullins Park at 10000 Ben Geiger Drive.
“Chess is a great game,” Campbell said. “It requires a lot of thought process.”