Sunday, July 5, 2009

So Far So Good!

Hi everyone,

The third Chess in the Library meet ended yesterday at the Brookbanks Library. This week, the turnout was better than I expected! Even with the Hart House tournament running and the US holiday, 29 kids came to play chess!! I was very happy that the maximum limit was maintained. A great improvement from last week was that by making the table further apart, and with one less volunteer, we still managed to control the noise level much better. Again, I must thank that volunteer, Jimmy Wang, for helping me lots and making this possible.

Just like last week, we had long line ups but the check in table wasn't as busy. That's because on the day before, I created a Chess in the Library member's database which was sorted out by grade and last name. So when they come in, all we had to do was check their names off (much easier to find as well ) and add the new members to the list. It definitely saved us at least 10 minutes this week!! Another new thing we had this week was a reading table full of chess books! So if someone had a bye or finished playing, they would be sitting at the reading table and reading chess books. This prevents the kids from being bored and ending up running around. I think it's a pretty good idea!

I'm overwhelmed that these three weeks had been amazing so far. However, to maintain this current situation is only a small step toward my long term goal. Before I just said that I will want to expand to many more libraries but didn't give any details. Now I have a very clear goal ahead of me. In my next 3 high school years, I hope to expand to 30 Toronto Public Libraries and maintain the level of having 500 kids playing chess in my program each week. I'm sure everyone who's following my program's update more or less will have some doubts about my organization skills and if I will be able to actually reach this goal. Well, you all have the right to doubt, after all, in many of your eyes, I'm just a girl who just turned 15. However, seeing all those kids having fun playing chess gives me the confidence and the motivation to make this program bigger and better so that chess in Canada would become more and more popular.

Recently, I received a donation of more than $500 to buy the first 100 chess sets which are going to be used in 5 libraries. On behalf of all the kids at this program, I would like to thank this kind anonymous donor for supporting the Chess in the Library program. It really means a lot to all of us and also the chess community in Canada. Thus, I've already started contacting 2 other libraries and by the end of this summer, I hope to have 3 libraries running this program smoothly. I also hope that there will be more kind hearted people who will donate to this program.

If you want to support the Chess in the Library program by donating or volunteering (students only ), then contact me at

Thank you!!

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