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Fri Oct 30, 2020, 08:37 AM

On Chess: Chess Program Aspires To Build Bridges Between Police Officers And Local Youth

During these challenging times, it remains vitally important to find ways to strengthen relationships between police officers and students of color. In response to this need, the St. Louis Chess Club created the Chess Helping Enhance Student Skills program to bring students and police officers together over a game of chess. CHESS Cops events have always been fun, and now there is evidence that suggests these events have a positive impact on studentsí perceptions of and relationships with police officers.

The CHESS Cops program is still relatively new. It began in 2017 as a one-off breakfast event but has since developed into a widespread community outreach program partnering local police departments with St. Louis area schools to facilitate chess games between students and police. The aim: bring distanced communities together and strengthen neighborhoods through the personal interactions facilitated by one of humanityís oldest games. Following that first breakfast, CHESS Cops has hosted numerous events and summer camps. Itís spurred students at a local school to build their own chess club. Itís also started an effort to train school resource officers to assist within chess classrooms while always providing students and police officers a platform to sit together and play in a trusting environment.

Early indicators suggest that CHESS Cops is positively impacting studentsí perceptions of police officers. This spring, the St. Louis Chess Club worked with researchers from St. Louis University, the University of Missouri and Basis Policy Research to understand the social impact of some of its outreach programs, including CHESS Cops. Feedback surveys following a CHESS Cops event at Lift for Life Academy asked students about their attitudes, trust and feelings about the police. Of the participating students, 92% said playing chess with the police officers helped them see police as regular people, 86% said it helped them see the officers as more friendly, and 86% responded that it helped them trust the officers more. While these results are encouraging, it is imperative that both parties come away from these events with a better understanding of each other. Trust between communities is built by the players on both sides of the chessboard; future research is needed to understand if the perspectives of the police officers are changing, too.

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/2020-10-29/on-chess-chess-program-aspires-to-build-bridges-between-police-officers-and-local-youth

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Reply On Chess: Chess Program Aspires To Build Bridges Between Police Officers And Local Youth (Original post)
Sherman A1 Oct 2020 OP
lastlib Oct 2020 #1
Sherman A1 Oct 2020 #2
lastlib Oct 2020 #4
Voltaire2 Oct 2020 #3

Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2020, 08:52 AM

1. Good to see this, but....

I wonder if Rex Sinquefield is bankrolling it?

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Response to lastlib (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 30, 2020, 08:53 AM

2. He might be the money behind it

but, if it gets people to talk with one another then I think it's a good thing.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 30, 2020, 08:58 AM

4. I would agree.

And playing chess is a good way to accomplish it. As a chess afficionado myself, I strongly favor bringing people to the table!

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2020, 08:53 AM

3. the cops will use every encounter to collect data

that will then be used in their surveillance operations against these same people, their friends, families and associates.

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