Chil­dren quick to learn skill of chess

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Chess may not be a game that many kids in Porirua have ex­po­sure to, but Bill Moller is help­ing to change that trend.

The Plim­mer­ton Ro­tar­ian has been go­ing to Porirua East School at least once a week for two years, show­ing chil­dren of vary­ing ages the strate­gic nu­ances that ex­ist in the game. Along with other ini­tia­tives like read­ing pro­grammes, it is part of Ro­tary’s com­mit­ment to help­ing young peo­ple learn.

Last year Mr Moller was teach­ing the older kids chess, but the fo­cus this year has been the five and six-year-olds, on Fri­days dur­ing ‘dis­cov­ery time’, when they try new things.

Some are show­ing a nat­u­ral ap­ti­tude for the game, he says.

‘‘It’s been very suc­cess­ful and thor­oughly en­joy­able for me. The kids catch on far quicker than I did 60 years ago and it’s very sat­is­fy­ing, you see their mind de­vel­op­ing.

‘‘They are at the start of that com­pet­i­tive pe­riod of life, so most want to win and they’re learn­ing about think­ing ahead and us­ing strate­gies.’’

Due to a com­bi­na­tion of Mr Mol- ler’s ill-health and the short­ened term, his vis­its have been cur­tailed for the rest of this year, but he is hop­ing to come back to the school in the new year.

Prin­ci­pal Irene Unasa says ‘‘the kids love Bill, we have to make sure we share him around’’. The in­ter­ac­tion be­tween an adult from out­side the school com­mu­nity and the chil­dren is in­valu­able, along with the pos­i­tive ef­fect chess is hav­ing on their school­work.

‘‘He ob­vi­ously cares and can re­late very eas­ily with them, Bill’s just so great. The feed­back we’re get­ting is that they are show­ing some real tal­ent [at chess] and just con­tinue to sur­prise us. I think this has been a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for ev­ery­one and it re­ally fits in with the type of learn­ing environment we have.’’

Ms Unasa says they would love it if Mr Moller could re­turn for chess lessons next year.

Your move: Clock­wise from left, Nimee­sha Starkey-akavi, Shon­tae Sharp, Bill Moller and Cas­sius Houka­mau get down to the busi­ness con­cern­ing cas­tles, kings and queens.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.