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Mission Statement

Chess in the Schools fosters the intellectual and social development of low-income youth through chess education.

Boy playing chess at school

Why Chess?

At Chess in the Schools, we believe in the power of chess to change lives. To date, we have taught more than 500,000 of New York City's most underserved children, inspiring them to greater achievement. Each day, we are proud to help kids grow, one move at a time. Our impact is demonstrated by classroom teachers responses to our annual survey:

    • More than 96% of teachers reported that CIS’s chess program were effective and that they would want it to return.
    • 97% of teachers reported that chess had a meaningful positive influence on their students.
    • 85% of teachers reported that their students applied the lessons of chess beyond the chess board.
    • 91% of teachers reported the growth of analytical and logical reasoning skills in their students.
    • 82% of teachers reported improved understanding of math concepts.
    • 91% of teachers reported improved ability to concentrate.
    • 94% of teachers reported improved cooperation skills in their students.
    • 86% of teachers reported improved social skills and behavior in their students.
        2020 Survey
        Photo Credit: Erik Bardin

Featured Event

2021 Spring Charity Chess Challenge

Jun.16.2021

2021 Spring Charity Chess Challenge Wednesday, June 9, 6.30-8.00pm EDT Join us for the special online tournament benefitting Chess in the Schools.  The evening, hosted by Chess24.com, will feature simultaneous games where participants will challenge several…

Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

Mark E. Maher

Chair

Senior Legal Counsel, Spotify

Daniel Ryan

Secretary


Managing Partner, Sincerus Advisory

Cody Smith

Treasurer

Retired Partner of Goldman Sachs & Co.

Kwadwo Acheampong

Director

Senior Vice President, Account Management & Business Development, PIMCO

Lawrence B. Benenson

Director

Principal, Benenson Capital Partners, LCC

Praju Doshi

Director

Director, Credit Suisse

Debbie Eastburn

President & CEO


Chess in the Schools

Andy Lerner

Director

Managing Partner, IA Capital Group

Chun Lin

Director

Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Dhruv Sharma

Director

Director, PwC LLP

Andrew C. Smith

Director

Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Dave Stein

Director

Solution Architect, Adobe

Richard B. Wagner

Director

Vice President,  ABILITY Network

Mike Walsh Peissis

Director

President, Vetta Inc.

Anthony Sandrik

Director

Global Head of Talent, Omidyar Network

Jonathan Zald

Director

Director, PJT Partners

Lewis B. Cullman

In Memoriam

Philanthropist

Lev Alburt

Maurice Ashley

Ipek Bakir

Erik Bardin

John Bartholomew

Peter Bassey

Nikita Bear

Cohlie Brocato

Pascal Charbonneau

Nikken Cullman

Ronald J. Daniels

David Danziger

Howard Dodson

Kimberley Doo

Jon Edwards

Ellen V. Futter

Anna Ginzburg

Eric Gioia

Betsy Gotbaum

Agnes Gund

Evan Hunter

David Joerg

Roman Kazan

Richard C. Levin

Gustave K. Lipman

Director

CEO, Voyager Analytics USA

David MacEnulty

Robert MacNeil

Beatriz Marinello

Przemyslaw Matecki

John Merrow

Shivan Persad

Frank H.T. Rhodes

Aia Sarycheva

Charles E. Schumer

Jennifer Shahade

Shahnawaz Sheikh

Michael Shuman

Jacob Spitzer

Vanessa Sun

Stanley Switalski

Zack Weiner

Alexandra Wiener

Debbie Eastburn

Debbie Eastburn

President & CEO

Nicole Alston

Nicole Alston

Office Coordinator

Ronald Boocock

Ronald Boocock

Director, School Program

Chano LaBoy

Chano LaBoy

College Bound Director

Carmen Morales

Carmen Morales

School Program Manager

Elena Ryabova

Elena Ryabova

Director of Development

Marissa Broomes

Marissa Broomes

Development Assistant

Shaun M. Smith

Shaun M. Smith

Director, Programs

Will Staso

Will Staso

College Bound Coordinator