Beloved Williamsburg chess team poised to lose funding

chess-hand-hero

Proposed budget cuts would slash afterschool funding for children across the city, and one of the items on the chopping block is a beloved middle school chess program that has been honored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and featured on film.

The $130 million in cuts would affect more than 41,000 children, according to the Campaign for Children, which took part in rallies last month protesting the loss of afterschool programs they say serve as crucial second homes  for many students. The most beloved of all of these is the chess program at Intermediate School 318 in Williamsburg, which in 2012 became the first middle school ever to win the United Chess Federation’s national high school championship.

The team’s road to glory was documented in the 2012 film Brooklyn Castle. The documentary was partly funded by crowdfunding Web site Kickstarter, where it raised more than $20,000.

Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton, who earlier this spring helped to raise more than $100,000 for the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA’s summer camp, recently called attention to I.S. 318 in one of his posts.

“Perhaps the most inspiring story in New York right now is the I.S. 318 Chess Team,” Stanton wrote, along with a photo that featured team coordinator John Galvin and one of his star players.

The city has historically kicked $20,000 into the chess program’s annual budget of $60,000. The students and faculty have already been holding bake sales, selling candy, and reaching out to private donors to make up the rest. Losing the final third to budget cuts would effectively end the program.

“This is the best chess program in the US,” Galvin told the Daily News. “I don’t even know how we would break the news to the kids.”

The budget is due June 30.

Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.