Brooklyn Castle

Brooklyn, New York's Intermediate School 318 is a testament to the transformational powers of chess, quality afterschool programming, and a dedicated staff. The school's chess program began as a loose gathering of chess enthusiasts - the "Chess Nuts," as they called themselves - in the early ‘90s. Elizabeth Vicary, then working for nonprofit Chess-in-the-Schools, arrived at I.S. 318 in 1999 to coach a team of just 10 kids who'd never before competed in a tournament. By the end of her first year, the school had a National title and a reason to be excited about chess. The program expanded exponentially over the following years, and today I.S. 318 boasts a team of nearly 100 students and a display case showcasing a staggering number of chess trophies. The school currently holds more National chess titles than any other junior high school in the country; offers 45 afterschool programs in subjects as diverse as robotics, botany and tennis; and is one of New York City's most successful schools.


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