Recent Activity


PWC 2012 Statement of Recent Activity


The Cleveland Public Schools Day Program was conducted for the eleventh year in eight CMSD Schools and concluded in April with our year-end Chess Challenge, attended by 500 CMSD students. William Cullen Bryant was the winning school in both sections, grades 3-5 and grades 6-8.

William Cullen Bryant won the Middle School Championship for the second consecutive year at the Cleveland Public Schools Tournament, held at Max Hayes High School and directed by CMSD Department of Student Activities. None of the Bryant players have lost even a single game at this event in two years! The results the Bryant students have achieved demonstrates the effectiveness of the instruction that they have received for many years from Progress with Chess.

The Greater Cleveland Scholastic Chess League, a series of four affordable monthly tournaments organized and directed by Progress with Chess, concluded at the end of February 2012 with a tournament at Solon High attended by 120 players.

In March 2012, Progress with Chess directed and organized the Ohio High School Middle School Championships in Richfield Ohio, with 175 players attending from all over Ohio. Shaker Heights High, with instruction provided by Progress with Chess, was crowned Ohio High School Co-Champion for the second year in a row, winning the first place trophy on tie-breaks. Progress with Chess has had great success in the Shaker Schools, with state champions at Shaker Middle School in 2010 and Woodbury Elementary in 2006.

At the end of March we became a community partner at the Cleveland International Film Festival to promote the chess movie Brooklyn Castle. We gave a free chess exhibition at Tower City on two days. Our masters played 10-20 players at the same time, well over 100 challengers overall. The president of the U.S. Chess Federation came to Cleveland for the premier of the movie, and met with PWC CEO Michael Joelson. He found time to visit our program at Anton Grdina Elementary, and enjoyed interacting with the students. Progress with Chess volunteers to give exhibitions and took on challengers at various events in the community such as the Cleveland International Film Festival and Larchmere Street Festival.

During 2012, Progress with Chess continued developing programs outside of school settings. These programs now include Westlake Chinese School, Solon Community Center, Beachwood Community Center, Hudson Community Education, and the Great Wall Enrichment Centers.

In the summer of 2012, Progress With Chess conducted seven one week summer camps in the Greater Cleveland area at various locations and had our best attendance ever. Our Solon, Beachwood and Shaker camps averaged 30 participants. For the fifth consecutive year, we were pleased to be a part of the East Cleveland Summer Camp Program. PWC teaches chess in East Cleveland each summer to 20-25 students in two one and a half hour periods, Monday through Friday from mid-June to the end of July.

In September of 2012, we began our fall school programs again in over 40 Greater Cleveland Schools. In the CMSD Schools, we expanded our program in three of the seven schools we now serve to include six classes for 2012-13, rather than three as in previous years, one class in each of grades 3-8. Our goal for 2013-14 is to double the program to include fourteen schools, with after school programs in seven of the fourteen.

In December of 2012, PWC Executive Director Michael Joelson and long-time supporter of the organization Dr. Charles Modlin had the opportunity to meet with Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon. Mr. Joelson outlined some of the ideas he has for expansion of the chess in the schools program. Mr. Gordon was very receptive and made it clear that PWC had his support to strengthen the program and he gave us his approval to move forward. Throughout the years, many more schools have expressed interest in having our program than we have had the funding to serve. In order to achieve our goal, Progress With Chess has a hired a consultant/grant writer to explore all avenues of fundraising and create a business plan.