Franklin County School District - Chess program to build foundational skills and improve students’ educational success

Partner: Southwest Mississippi Chess Foundation

Students impacted: 150
Volunteers: 20 parents
Partnership duration: 1.5 years

Chess is an activity that helps young students develop foundational skills that are essential for educational success, including analytical and problem-solving skills, logic, pattern recognitions, time management, and concentration. Beginning in fall of 2015, Franklin County Lower Elementary School began offering chess classes for second graders, although all elementary and older students with an interest are allowed to participate. The partnership now offers after-school and evening classes for beginners and advanced players. To date, students have participated in several national chess tournaments, often winning individual and team awards. At the state tournament in spring 2016, the FCSD chess team finished first and placed third in K-5.


  • Establishment of Chess Center in Meadville
  • Data available on each student, with chess points tracked over time
  • After-school and evening classes are free of charge to community


  • Chess has provided social, intellectual and academic benefits
  • 6th graders placed 10th nationally and 5th graders placed 8th nationally in Nashville tournament
  • Hosting first all-female state championship chess tournament in 2017
  • "60 Minutes" is producing a segment about the Chess Foundation