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Students from two Baltimore schools have the unique chance to play in an actual chess tournament. Their trip, to the 2022 National High School Championships in Memphis, Tennessee, is made possible thanks to grant funding provided by the Baltimore Kids' Chess League.
This competitive event encourages students to compete for cash and prizes, building confidence while honing their skills. Parents also form bonds as they watch their children navigate across checkered squares.
Chess, like basketball and football, is a beloved team sport. Not only does it teach valuable life skills like goal setting, respect and sportsmanship to students; but it also develops their executive functions such as memory and self-control. Chess has long been considered to be an enjoyable way to bond with teammates.
The game presents a complex, strategic and demanding form of thinking that requires planning, strategy and critical thought. Additionally, it serves to build mental stamina, recover from mistakes quickly, and demonstrate persistence.
On a Tuesday afternoon in the fall, as yellow school buses transport students between Cross Country Elementary Middle School in Northwest Baltimore, the chess club gathers in their library. There they sit seated around a hanging chessboard.
They're learning the fundamentals from veteran coach Daniel Katz, who has been coaching the club since its inception as part of Baltimore Kids Chess League in 2003 with financial support from Abell Foundation. Since then, nearly 800 children from 40 schools in grades K-12 have joined this growing organization.
The league's success can be attributed to its coaches' expertise in teaching children how to play a winning game and instilling confidence, leadership skills and social abilities. Furthermore, the League offers numerous resources such as tournaments and chessboards, plus stipends and training for its coaches.
In addition to teaching chess, the program also offers a curricular framework that coaches can utilize in their classrooms. It includes short instructional videos, games and puzzles designed to engage students and help them comprehend the rules of the game.
As the season commences, many students have signed up to compete in the state-qualifier tournament that will take place on Saturday, November 10 at Markell Hall. They will be up against students from 23 schools within Whatcom County.
This is an amazing chance for students to hone their chess skills and network with other chess enthusiasts from the city. The students will compete against students of varying grade levels and teams.
At the same time, coaches have an opportunity to assess their team and identify who has a strong foundation in the game. With this information, coaches can work on improving each player's game.
LaShella Stanfield, Principal of Cross Country Elementary Middle School, states that the chess curriculum has been an effective tool to help students improve their academic achievement. Over time, students have seen great improvements in their test scores. Furthermore, the school has made the transition into using arts-based learning and enrichment as a means of engaging and motivating them.
Cross Country School not only offers an academically challenging program, but it also has several honors programs and extracurricular activities to help students hone their talents. They may participate in environmental projects or take advantage of the school's green school status. Furthermore, Cross Country is part of Young Audiences' Arts for All Leaders and Principal Fellowship Program which offers leadership development resources to principals as they implement an arts-based action plan.
GZA, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan, took time out of his hectic schedule on Friday to play chess with students from two Baltimore schools. It was an enjoyable way for young chess players to practice as well as get to compete against someone who was an experienced professional player.
Mayor Brandon Scott hosted a chess tournament at Baltimore City Hall as part of his city's initiative to increase chess participation among youth in Baltimore City.
One of the primary objectives is to encourage students to use chess as a vehicle to hone their intellectual skills, according to Hopkins. Whether they play the game or simply observe it, chess provides an engaging means of education.
Chess can help students hone their critical thinking, communication and interpersonal skills. Additionally, it allows them to explore interests and determine the best ways to pursue them, according to Professor Zong.
Hopkins, who teaches chess at Green Street Academy, says her students often use it to solve class problems. Many of them struggle with anxiety and depression, so playing chess gives them a chance to unwind.
She noted that chess can help students develop a sense of community and teamwork, as well as aid them in overcoming emotions like fear or anger, she states.
Green Street Academy views its chess club as an integral component of their curriculum. It provides students with an opportunity to hone their IB learner profile - knowledgeable, inquirers, thinkers, communicators, principled individuals who are open-minded and caring; risk takers who remain balanced and reflective - by playing a fun game together.
The Chess Club meets after school twice a week in room 53. Attendance is optional for scholars, but they must be in good academic standing and have no other commitments outside their chess club meetings.
This year, the Green Street Academy team participated in numerous local and national chess tournaments. They earned medals at several of these events, including a first-place finish at Grafton Fall Scholastic Chess Tournament and fifth-place placement in Midland Scholastic Chess League III.
They also participated in a scholastic chess tournament held in Greenville, South Carolina. There, they won the K-12 unrated section and placed close to second in the K-12 rated section.
Their performance earned them eligibility to compete in the New York State Scholastic Championships this spring as well as the National Senior Tournament of Champions.
The chess tournament was generously sponsored by American Farmland Trust, an organization that supports farmers and ranchers as they navigate COVID-19, and Tillamook Creamery. Proceeds from the event went towards funding the school's agricultural learning center which features a hoop house and hydroponic shipping container.
Baltimore Kids' Chess League works in collaboration with City Schools to offer chess opportunities to thousands of students. Their weekly after-school sessions offer instruction, competitive matches and free citywide tournaments; additionally, they train volunteer coaches and supply necessary equipment.
20 outstanding district players from Green Street Academy, Patterson High School and Bard High School Early College are taking their passion for chess to the national stage this weekend when they head off to Memphis, Tennessee for the 2022 National High School (K-12) Championships.
In the weeks leading up to their competition, the team created a game plan for each of their opponents. Some ideas were drawn from what they learned in class while others reflected what they'd experienced playing chess.
Many players were experiencing their first real-world chess tournament for the first time, giving them an opportunity to see how they stack up against others from across Canada.
Although it was a lot to take in, they said the game helped them develop as chessplayers. They said the game taught them patience, strategy and discipline.
They said it was an invaluable opportunity to meet new people. Through connecting with chessplayers from different schools, they found a platform to express their emotions and bond.
One of the highlights of their trip was playing an in-person chess game. For Means, it was his first real chess match in over a year and brought back memories of when he and McClafferty participated in a school-wide tournament before the coronavirus pandemic.
Some other students took advantage of this unique opportunity as well. Sophomore Nic Patterson participated with Northfield High School's chess team at a virtual state scholastic chess tournament and achieved remarkable success, finishing sixth overall!
Javier Sanchez, another student, loves how chess has given him an outlet to challenge himself intellectually. He finds the game challenging and enjoys deciphering his opponent's moves to see if they are correct or incorrect. Chess provides him with a chance to focus on improving himself intellectually.
He expressed his ambition to reach new heights, ultimately becoming a chess grandmaster.
But he knows he must work hard to reach his goals. He acknowledges that he's not the best player, so practicing more will be necessary.
The students are eager for this unique experience and hope to have fun along the way. Additionally, they are thrilled at having an opportunity to represent their city.
They hope to use the trip as an opportunity to get to know their teammates better and form new friendships from around the world. Furthermore, they would like to share their enthusiasm for chess with family and other enthusiasts.
The Juno Awards, honouring Canada's most beloved musical talent, are returning to Edmonton for the 52nd time. After more than two decades away from Rogers Place in Vancouver, Edmonton was selected to host this iconic ceremony.
On March 13th in Edmonton, Alexisonfire, AP Dhillon, Banx & Ranx with Preston Pablo and Reve, Jessie Reyez, Nickelback and Tate McRae will all be performing.
The Juno Awards, Canada's premier music awards, return to Edmonton after nearly two decades. Hosted by actor Simu Liu, the 52nd annual event will take place at Rogers Place on March 13th 2023.
As part of the award ceremony, Canadian artists and other industry professionals are recognized. Additionally, new inductees into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame are inducted.
On the week leading up to the weekend award presentations, local venues host a series of events as part of "Juno Week," including JUNO Songwriters Circle, CBC Music JUNOfest and the JUNO Comedy Show.
Edmonton-area musical acts have been nominated for the 2020 Juno Awards, including The McDades with their Roots Album of the Year nomination and Heavy Metal band Striker in Metal/Hard Music category. Other local nominees this year include Nuela Charles in Adult Contemporary Album of Year category and NEHIYAWAK in Indigenous Artist or Group of Year category.
Over the past ten years, Edmonton has seen 19 musicians win a JUNO award - one of the reasons why organizers decided to bring it back for its first time. Edmonton's vibrant musical heritage and diverse culture have greatly shaped many of those honored over these awards, making it an ideal location for the ceremony.
For nearly two decades, the Juno Awards have been making their way across Canada, taking their festivities to various cities. Hosted by each host city, these events often offer both public-facing fan events and networking opportunities for artists.
The Juno Awards are Canada's premier music awards, honoring artists of all genres. Established in 1964 by RPM magazine, readers voted on which Canadian acts and groups deserved recognition; eventually these results became the basis for an official award ceremony held each December.
These ceremonies, originally held in Toronto, have become increasingly popular across Canada with various locations hosting events to coincide with the weekend award presentations. Juno Cup, an NHL game pitting musicians against National Hockey League players as a fundraiser for MusiCounts - CARAS' charitable music education program; Juno Fan Fare - where fans can meet their favourite Canadian artists; and JUNO Songwriters' Circle - where Canada's most talented songwriters share their stories and perform an intimate set for MusiCounts support.
Ceremonies like these can be instrumental in the growth of a musical genre, yet they also often present obstacles for emerging artists trying to reach an expanded audience. This was particularly true of hip hop during its early days when lack of mainstream recognition served as a deterrent for many.
Social media and a non-linear global media environment have enabled Canadian hip hop and R&B artists to build audiences beyond what the Junos or other major industry players could provide. With some determination and the right tools, these up-and-coming rappers have cemented Canada as a major force in today's global music scene.
Canadian artists must stand out in an increasingly crowded field by being unique or creating something entirely new. This can be achieved by integrating traditional genre elements or crafting a style that appeals to a broad and international audience.
The Juno Awards are presented annually by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) as a national music awards ceremony held each March to honour Pierre Juneau, the first president of Canada's Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
In 1970, Stan Klees, owner of RPM magazine, decided to host a formal music industry awards ceremony. Originally called the RPM Annual Gold Leaf Award, it was later renamed as the Juno Award in memory of Juneau.
In addition to the ceremony, Juno Week events take place throughout March in the host city. These include a Juno Cup hockey game that pits musicians against professional NHL players as a fundraiser for MusiCounts - an organization providing music education to Canadian students - and the JUNO Songwriters' Circle, where Canada's most talented songwriters share their stories and play intimate sets in support of MusiCounts.
This year's Junos will feature a number of star-studded performances, including an all-star hip hop tribute curated by four-time Juno Award winner Kardinal Offishall and award-winning artist Jemeni. Supported by ADVANCE, Canada's Black Music Business Collective and the JUNO Rap Music Advisory Committee, this performance will include Choclair, Dream Warriors, Maestro Fresh Wes, Michie Mee, TOBi and DJ Mel Boogie.
Kardinal Offishall and Haviah Mighty will co-host the performance, joining previously announced artists Alexisonfire, Jessie Reyez, Nickelback, Tate McRae, Tenille Townes, Banx & Ranx with Preston Pablo and Reve, as well as AP Dhillon. In addition, nine-time Juno Award winner Avril Lavigne and three-time JUNO Award nominee Lauren Spencer Smith will serve as presenters. The live telecast will be broadcast by CTV--the official television partner of the Junos--for its sixth edition this year.
RPM magazine began polling its readers in 1964 to determine which Canadian artists were considered the best in their fields. By 1971, CARAS (the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) officially established music awards ceremonies to increase a genre's visibility and commercial viability.
In many countries, music awards serve as an essential building block to help transform local music scenes from niche or avant-garde into commercially successful products, garnering national media coverage and industry investment. Nonetheless, in today's non-linear global media environment, local musical scenes may gain mass appeal across multiple national borders without the assistance of major industry players.
Canada's rap and hip hop scenes have shown remarkable success in recent years, even without the assistance of major industry players. Canadian artists have proven they can reach global audiences on their own initiative without needing external resources or connections to major labels.
For instance, The Dream Warriors from Jane and Finch neighbourhood in Toronto signed to a label in Europe and sold over 800,000 units worldwide. Drawing inspiration from their Jamaican heritage, they created an eclectic blend of reggae and funk that perfectly captured the vibrant diaspora culture of their adopted Canada.
Toronto-based hip hop act the Ghetto Concept also used their Jamaican heritage to provide an ethnographic view of life on a First Nations reserve. Their work opened the door for future generations of Caribbean Canadian youth who would significantly influence hip hop culture in Toronto.
This year's Junos will feature an all-star tribute to hip hop's 50th anniversary. Created and produced by Kardinal Of, four-time Juno winner and Def Jam global A&R, it will feature Choclair, Dream Warriors, Maestro Fresh Wes, Michie Mee, TOBi and DJ Mel Boogie; hosted by Kardinal Of and Haviah Mighty it will showcase the intergenerational growth of Black music in Canada.
Canada's contribution to hip hop history will be celebrated at this year's Juno Awards, with Toronto rappers Kardinal Offishall and Haviah Mighty serving as Master of Ceremonies to guide viewers through a tribute to Canada's place within the genre.
Choclair, Dream Warriors, Maestro Fresh Wes, Michie Mee and TOBi join DJ Mel Boogie as they spin a track produced by Rich Kidd for this latest performance in an ongoing series honoring Canadian rap's rich history. On March 13th it will also feature a 30th anniversary tribute to mark the introduction of rap as its own category on TV.
This special performance has been developed in collaboration with the JUNO Rap Music Advisory Committee and will feature an array of talent from Canada's rap community. Notable guests include four-time JUNO Award winner Choclair, five-time nominee and 2021 JUNO Award winner TOBi, Toronto rappers Dream Warriors and Maestro Fresh Wes, two-time Polaris Music Prize winner NAV, hip hop pioneer Michie Mee and 2019 Polaris Music Prize winners Haviah Mighty and Jessie Reyez.
On March 13th, performances broadcast live from Rogers Place in Edmonton on CBC-TV and CBC Gem are part of the annual event's special anniversary edition. There will be six award presentations as well as special award presentations for The Tragically Hip's Humanitarian Award presented by Music Canada, MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, and Jann Arden's induction into Canadian Music Hall of Fame presented by TD Bank Group.
On June 16, an impressive 16 performers will take the stage, including Alexisonfire, AP Dhillon, Aysanabee with Northern Cree, Banx & Ranx with Preston Pablo and Reve, Nickelback, Tate McRae, Tenille Townes and Jessie Reyez. Simu Liu will host the show while Avril Lavigne and Lauren Spencer-Smith serve as presenters.