Monday, March 5, 2012

Computer Labs for Kids

Hola darlings!  I received an update the other day from my chess buddy Shira Evans Sanford. 

Shira and Crispin are settled in LA and working out of the "mobile lab" that has been a big blessing in reaching many kids!  Here's the latest:

I am really excited. Computer Labs for Kids is starting an iPad class for homeless children in San Jose, CA. I sent out an email about it and then got a response from a man I met in Israel who has recently been appointed by the Ministry of Education to put together iPads for a project teaching deaf children how to play chess - using the iPads! It's way cool! If you want to help the Israel project, I've put together I special causes page just for them and whatever money we get we will use to send them iPads. Here is the link,

So the kids will not only learn how to use an Ipad, they will also learn how to play chess!  Yippee!

We have talked about this idea for awhile, and during the 2009 Chicago project, GM Susan Polgar and the Susan Polgar Institute donated software that was loaded onto computers that were delivered at the end of the day to children who attended the program at the Children's Village. 

Because Chicago was within my reach by a 90 minute train trip, I was able to volunteer and work with Shira and other volunteers that day, and it was just a wonderful experience.

Shira (center) with one of the student receiving his Certificate of Completion, and me (left), some of the volunteers in the background; his computer buddy is waiting to hand him his computer in the background :)

See also GM Susan Polgar Comes Through

 I've been pushing for Shira to work more chess into her work with the kids ever since! Chess can be a life-changing experience -- knowledge that, once learned, can never be taken away but can be nurtured, and added to. Chess can take you to places you would not have thought about for yourself, if only you can dream, and have a little intestinal fortitude :)  I never dreamed that I would ever play in a real chess tournament myself, but somehow, in October, 2010 there were Shira and I, and Crispin (who worked instead of played chess that day, CHICKEN!) at a Hales Corners Chess Challenge.

I don't think I'd have had enough guts to walk in there that first time without my chess buddy at my side, let me tell you!  As it was, my hands shook throughout most of my games.  I bombed - expected to.  But it was an experience!  Shira was there to give me encouragement between the rounds, for she was playing in the Open and I was a totally UNRATED player in the Reserve section, eek! 

I think it must have driven me slightly mad because, a year later, I somehow found myself playing in another October Hales Corners Chess Challenge!  This one I had to get to by myself (bus) and walk into all alone (intestinal fortitude).  I only played 3 games (arranged ahead of time), but I did it, all by myself.  Now that does sound silly, doesn't it, coming from a 60 year old woman who's been there and done that!

And now, I find I'm playing next month in Hales Corners Chess Challenge XV.  And my hands are not shaking at the prospect; I'm sure I'm just going to get really P.O.'d about being mercilessly whipped around the board by players young enough to be my grandchildren.  Ach! 

So you see - chess and computers!  Darlings, it's a natural!

1 comment:

Shira Sandford said...

Love the article! :) You brought me back to that time in Chicago. What fun we had and at the tournament!!! I'm so glad you are playing in the next one. I gotta check my schedule. :-P

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