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Chess Academy!

Knowing how to play chess can be extremely beneficial to children – here's why

I never understood the benefits of chess because I never learned to play the game. As a kid I would watch the adults play the game and sit for hours methodically choosing their moves. In fact, I thought the game took too long and they were just being picky about moving their pieces across the board. What I didn't know was the level of intelligence, planning, patience and just the mere thought process that was required to win.

Knowing how to play chess, in fact, helps you in so many other areas in life. When I realized this, I knew that chess was a game I wanted my kids to play. Also it was a game that many black kids didn't play. There are some great benefits to introducing this game to all children, and here's why.

1. Critical thinking

Moms can really be "mama bears" at times. If you're a mom who finds it easier to answer a question for your kids instead of requiring them to think it through, or you are always quick to come to their defense, then you'll want your child to play chess. Chess requires critical thinking skills. Your child will have to think ahead several moves before moving. Chess is methodical. Sometimes as parents we coddle our kids and think for them. We are always quick to do things for them instead of allowing them to use their own brains to conjure up a solution. As a parent, if you're having problems pulling back and allowing your child to do things on their own, enlist them in a chess class and allow them to learn and think on their own. This is a great way to do that.

2. Pump up the brain power

I don't want to get too technical but there's something called dendrites in the brain that grow exponentially when kids are engaged in a game like chess. What this means is that your child gets increased brain power potential and capacity. Our children need brain power to survive in the classroom these days with mandated state tests that are truly difficult for some kids to master. Every little bit helps and there aren't many games that help the brain to get a little pumped.

3. Life skills

Ever heard the saying, common sense is not common? Well at least with chess your kids develop analytical, synthetic and decision-making skills, which they can transfer to real life. We all know real life skills are essential.

4. Higher order thinking

Chess calls upon higher-order thinking skills, helps them analyze actions and consequences and visualize future possibilities. What are higher-order thinking skills? With kids you want them to be able to truly analyze information on a higher level. Students must master the lower-level skills before they can engage in higher-order thinking and playing chess helps them do that.

5. Learning discipline

Chess teaches discipline from a very early age. This is one of the best parts of having your child learn chess, if you know what I mean. Chess teaches kids to anticipate and to plan ahead. That's a very useful skill that they can apply to planning out their clothes for the week for school. Also with playing chess, you have to plan things out. Another plus is that your kids learn if they plan well, they get rewarded in chess. if you don't plan well, you suffer the consequences and get punished. That also applies in real life.

Check your local area for chess clubs and sign your kids up. They are often low cost. Or talk to your child's school about starting a chess club. Knowing the benefits it offers to kids is all you need to prove your case.

Article by Kia Morgan Smith




What's New

Sep 06, 2017

Running with the Wolves has just published its Fall Schedule, and Registration is now open for students in grades 1 - 4.  



That guy's not running -- He's FLYING!!!

Here are at least five good reasons every kid should drop the

video game controller and head out that door for a run:

1. The Run and Post-Run Rush

You know that feeling you get when you ace a test or beat your buddy in Mario Cart? You can get that same feeling through running. It’s called “the runner’s high,” and it makes you feel like you are strong, fast and on top of the world. Best of all, the feeling of euphoria lingers long after you stop moving.

Even running for 10 minutes around the block is enough to get something called “endorphins” (a chemical in the brain that makes us feel happy) flowing. Combine that with the joy of being outside, away from school or homework, and you’ve got a recipe for success.

2. To Keep in Shape

Running is the easiest, quickest way to stay in shape, both for other sports and for life in general.

Being able to hustle and play good defense is very important in almost every sport, but you have to be in shape to do both on a consistent basis. Running a few times a week is the perfect way to get your legs and lungs ready for a full-court press or an outfield dash to catch a fly ball. Just 10 to 30 minutes a day is all you need to make a big difference in your game.

Even if you don’t play other sports – actually, especially if you don’t play other sports – running is still an important part of a healthy lifestyle. People of all ages should exercise a few times a week.

3. To Get Smart

Studies have shown that just a little bit of aerobic exercise each day can actually create new brain cells and improve memory (you can tell a sport is “aerobic” because it causes you to be out of breath, but you can still do it longer than five minutes). One test showed that students who ran for 30 minutes were better able to memorize and remember information than when they stayed still or lifted weights.

So if you are having a hard time concentrating in class or struggling with tests, try going for a run before you study. Get healthy and get smarter … quite the one-two punch.

4. To Discover New Places

Running takes you places. You can explore the woods, the neighborhood or the beach. You can explore almost anywhere and do so powered by your own two feet. It is a good opportunity to experience things you might have otherwise missed, like a bird’s nest, a new trail, or a view from high above your town. Running gives you a little taste of freedom.

5. To Excel in the Sport

Running is a sport, too! Most middle and high schools have seasonal cross country and track programs with daily practice and weekend competitions. Both sports provide great opportunities for those who play other sports to get in shape and stay competitive in the offseason. They also offer a unique chance for those who have never played a sport to get involved in athletics.

The benefits of joining a [running] team?

  • You can’t be benched and don’t have to worry about playing time.
  • There are no plays to memorize and practice is never boring.
  • Kids from all different groups usually join the team, so there is a place and a friend for everyone.
  • You get out of it what you put into it. If you want to be good, you can train harder. If you are in it for social reasons or just to stay in shape, you won’t be affecting anyone else’s success
  • The team still matters. Even though each person competes individually, it is still a team sport, and the camaraderie that makes ball sports so fun still exists.
  • Most programs are co-ed, which can make for a fun (and funny) atmosphere that you just can’t get anywhere else.
  • Daily practice is an enjoyable way to stay motivated and stay active.

Get Moving!

Running can be a sport, an adventure, an avenue to better your grades, or a way to become happier and enjoy a longer life. The more you run, the more fun and rewarding it becomes.

Excerpted from an Article in iSportRunning.com

So, parents, what are you waiting for?  

Register your kids now for Running with the Wolves!

Aug 16, 2017
Kids Yoga on Fall Schedule!

Register Now!

 Invite your kids on a journey filled with imaginative stories, yoga poses, games and music! Along the way, your kids will not only have fun, they’ll learn positive messages about sharing, teamwork, dreaming big, self-worth. Students also learn self-soothing techniques and ways to improve their concentration. Yoga can also improve your child’s strength, balance and flexibility; and is a great complement to other activities like dance, gymnastics and soccer.

Click on the Triangle Pose Picture for More Information on this class!


 Doing the Triangle Pose is so much fun!

According to medical professionals, there are many benefits to children who participate in Yoga:

Yoga is beneficial to kids in many ways. Because children encounter emotional, social, and physical challenges or conflicts, a dedicated and intentional yoga practice that includes breathing techniques, behavioral guidelines, and physical postures can be incredibly valuable for them. Another advantage is that Yoga is something children can practice anywhere and that the breathing, the concentration, the poses, and the way kids learn to act or react to situations, will lead to constant self-discovery and inquisitiveness. Finally, yoga is portable, and no mat, special clothing, or special pillow is absolutely necessary, although they all lend to a fun and full Yoga experience!