Harrisburg woman teaches kids chess after school amid pandemic


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — During a time when students are mostly learning online, these Harrisburg kids are spending their after-school time together learning chess.

Michelle Green has been playing her whole life and started hosting chess classes a few months ago.

“With the pandemic going on I wanted to bring an activity I knew could be safe for students to come, most are not in school, somewhere they can go other than their home,” Green said.

As the interest in her class Green had to get a bigger space. Now every Thursday kids between the ages of 5 and 14 meet at the Boys and Girls Club learn chess.

“Everything is difficult when you look at it,” 14-year-old My-Lee Garrison said. “But then when you get on it it’s easy.”

Garrison is getting better every day, and says it’s all thanks to Ms. Green.

“She pushed me that way I want to come I don’t want to skip one day because she makes the chess class better,” Garrison Said.

Green says she gets just as much out of these classes as her students.

Chess takes her back to her childhood and the lessons she learned from her dad who passed away in 2014.

“He would take me to the library and have me play grown men, and they never thought I could play,” Green said. “They would just be like ‘oh I’m playing a kid.’ By the time I was 9, 10 years old I was winning.”

Green dreams of having her students play competitively in high school and college years from now.

Green started this all on her own but when community members heard about her plans they donated money for chess boards, pieces, and snacks.

She’s thrilled that kids are interested in learning the game she loves so much. The classes have become so popular that she now has a waiting list.

Anyone interested in participating can email Green at mtgreen1967@gmail.com.

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