DALLAS – A big idea from a couple of Townview Center science students is turning into a successful partnership with a group of kindergartners at Harllee Early Childhood Center in Dallas Independent School District.
Tomisin Ogunfunmi and Ammar Alinur are Sophomores who love the game of chess.
“You have to think ahead and understand what your opponent is doing,” Ogunfunmi said.
The teens came up with an idea to start a chess club for kindergartners. They pitched the idea to administrators and turned a hunch into action.
Ogunfunmi explained, “We came up with this idea, because we were thinking of ways to give back. Me and Ammar both played chess when we were younger, and it really helped us out.”
Now the guys are teaching five-year-olds the game of skill. The kindergartners are quickly catching on.
Alinur said, “I tried explaining it, and they understood immediately. They are like really good listeners.”
Ogunfunmi and Alinur’s kinder-chess program has been meeting twice a week at Harllee for the past month. Once the students learn the pieces and functions, they are all set to focus on skill.
Onjaleke Brown is the principal at the elementary school.
“What we’ve noticed since the chess, is that the students are doing better with decision making,” Brown shared. “Students that have quick tempers and quick impulses are actually thinking through and problem solving, before things actually happen.”
The chess program is not only exposing young students to the game, Ogunfunmi and Alinur have become two positive make role models for the children.
Alinur said, ”I feel great when I teach them. I think whenever they see me , they also think, Ok, I want to learn chess today.”
Administrators are already discussing ways to expand the teens’ chess program into other classes.