Chess Tournament

Some kids from Brooklyn’s Intermediate School 318 won the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade sections of the National Scholastic K-12 Championship in Florida. (Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Reporting Sophia Hall

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – When you think about the game of chess, you think about concentration, making good choices and having great sportsmanship, but a nonprofit is making players think about good grades, high attendance and lifelong friends.

 LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall reports

Chess in the Schools is a non-profit organization that has brought the game into New York City’s public schools.

“Our program takes place during the school day we teach elementary and middle school students how to play chess—and in each school we teach, we have an after-school club that is open to the whole school,” CEO Marley Kaplan said.

Kaplan said the program helps teach learning and social skills and more importantly keep kids off the streets.

“It’s a safe haven. It is a safe place with caring adults,” Kaplan said. “We see kids who are in our chess program have better attendance in school. They tend to have lifelong friends from this.”