Donation makes chess championship possible for Earle STEM Academy students
A chess team at Englewood’s Earle STEM Academy recently received a donation from the Illinois Policy Institute.
Because of the $10,00 donation, math teacher Joe Ocol was able to register his team in the Chicago Latino Chess Championship, which was held Nov. 27, according to a press release.
The Thanksgiving weekend tournament left a lot of the team happy after several members took home honors. Tamya Fultz came in first place in the eighth-grade category, and Gavin Harry took home the gold for the fifth-grade competitors according to the release. Brandon Burgess sixth-grade division. The victories would not have been possible without the support of the Illinois Policy Institute, Ocol said in the release.
“Please relay our deepest appreciation to the Illinois Policy Institute for all the support and assistance it has provided our team which made it possible for us to compete in tournaments,” Ocol wrote, according to the release.
“Had it not been for [the Institute], our kids would never have experienced competing and excelling in chess as they did last Saturday," Ocol wrote. "Please give them the chance to shine, because they will shine. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Ocol is now trying to boost success and grow the program. This is hard-fought funding in an area where institutional investment is lacking, according to the release.
The team is looking for donors who will continue to support this chess program, the release said.