LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Students in St. Landry Parish were taught the “Game of Life”, commonly known as chess, by a visiting Detroit educator this week.
Kevin Fite, a Southern University graduate, coaches students at Detroit’s public schools and a charter school. He says his chess club includes students as young as 4 years old.
He said it’s a simple game, but the strategy can be difficult. He says the goal is to get the students excited and then from there they are more willing to learn.
“I thought it would be great to teach some of the kids in Opelosuas,” he said. “What it has done for many students back home is it has given them self-esteem, which equates to wanting to go to school every day. Their confidence is stronger.”
It’s all about making a move – the right move, he said.
The game of chess may be a board game, but for Fite it’s also a spring board to teach students about critical thinking, math and the benefits of being patient.
“And the ability to focus,” he said. “At a national tournament, kids have to sit four hours to play one game. Two hours each side. I don’t know adults who can do that.”
And these Opelousas Elementary School students took it all in.
“He asked me to put it on b6 or something. It got it wrong, but then I fixed it,” student Kendell Hollier said.
For Fite, his visit to Northeast Elementary School in Opelousas comes after teaching the game and its strategy to students all over the US.
“They get it and they are able to compete,” he said. “They understand the concept of being able to compete.”
Student Jontae Campbell agreed.
“It’s a fun game. I ain’t going to lie,” she said.