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 Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

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

Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.

National

Miss America thinks school should reconsider discipline of…

A Pa. student was suspended for asking Miss America to prom.

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

Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.

NHL

Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

MLB

Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

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.