The second meet of the "Chess in the Library" program held yesterday at the Brookbanks Library was a huge success! We had about 50% more players than last week, which brings us to more than 30 players this week!!! I seriously didn't think that there would be more people than last week. I guess good news spreads fast! Another good thing is that this week there were 2 volunteers helping me. They are Jimmy Wang from my current high school, Victoria Park C.I. and Yutong Luo who was from the same junior high as me, Pleasant View JHS. Both of them were in the school's chess team and I was proud to be their coach. I would like take this opportunity to thank both of them here, and without them I couldn't have pulled it through. I believe from now on, at least one of them will always assist me in organizing this program.
It was a busy day for all of us. Parents started to bring in kids at around and in 10 minutes, the check-in line went all the way outside the door. We very extremely busy checking people in, getting newcomers to fill out a registration form and also doing the pairings at the same time. We had 7 sections in total, the top section being the strongest, with kids who have a CFC rating. In that section we had 6 kids in total and out of the 6, 3 were from Scarborough Chess Club! Now for the rest of the kids, I divided them into groups of 4 according to their age. We played round robin in each section and it turned out to be pretty successful. What motivated the kids to win was that if they got first place in their section, they would receive a chess certificate and once they got enough, they can exchange it for a secret chess prize!
Since there were 3 people in charge this week, the group was more under control. However, even though I had "quiet please" signs on the wall, we still had to remind them to keep the noise level down once in a while. But overall, I think it went really well. We also had a lot more older kids (Gr 8 and up) this week and I was happy to see that. The librarian was almost shocked to see that many people coming in because the maximum amount of people they had coming in for other programs was just a bit over 20.
I am extremely happy that there was such an incredible turn out for the program so far. I'm looking forward to the expansion of this program very soon so that the chess players would be more spread out. I will also get the program's own website done as soon as possible.
Once again, I thank all my dear sponsors for making this possible: Brookbanks Library, Scarborough Chess Club, Victoria Park C.I., Toronto Schools Chess League and the Greater Toronto Chess League. I hope you guys will continue to support me and this successful program.
When I expand this program, I will definitely need at least 2 people to take care of each library. However, they must first be in training just like the 2 students who helped me this week. Right now I'm seeking for more responsible high school volunteers. Do you like this game? Are you looking for opportunities to learn some leadership skills to prepare you for the real world? Do you want to give some commitment to your community? Do you need volunteer hours? If you answered yes to all those questions, then this is your chance! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Hope to see you all next week in the library!
(written on Jun 28, 2009)