Partying at Richmond’s for CHESS, RHYMES and WISDOM

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At Chess, Rhymes and Wisdom (Frederick Douglass Campus) In red, Johnny Couser III, in blue, Maurice Glenn

Chess in the city schools is growing.  I’ve written a lot about the success of the Wilson team Another RCSD success storystates-2-580x326And also the popularity of the sport throughout the RCSD. City schools shine  And this year Tom Pappas is organizing a new team at Monroe. And at Douglass, chess is being taken to a whole new level.

IMG_0277-580x435So I was thrilled be to invited by my friend Brandon White, an English teacher who helps facilitate the new Restorative Practices program at Douglass, to Richmond’s on Friday forThe People’s Party.  (see Restorative Classroom Practices )unnamed

There, the people will be partying to raise money for Brandon’s afterschool club CHESS, RHYMES, AND WISDOM  at Northeast-Northwest High School. Fellow Northwest English teacher Reginald Houston (who some know as a Section V and College Basketball and Soccer referee) is integral to the success and organization of the club. The Benefit will raise funds for recording equipment to be kept at the Douglass Campus.

For several years now, Brandon and his students have gathered for a truly unique after school experience. Now with ambitions raised, the can’t-miss People’s Party.

Brandon describes his innovative program:

The CHESS, RHYMES, AND WISDOM  program engages students in critical thought through artistic expression by blending chess playing with rap, poetry, and spoken word creations.  In CHESS, RHYMES, AND WISDOM  young scholars develop their artistic voices, intellectual expression, self-actualization and character.

On the chess side, students learn basic and intermediate strategy, experimenting against each other and online. On the artistic side, students in the club learn appropriate uses of literary devices to enhance their poetry and rap. They are also taught freestyle (improvised rap) techniques, and even record their own music. The more they participate, the more the self-actualization process truly gains momentum. Each year, we look forward to expanding opportunities, ultimately leading to intellectual and character growth.

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At Chess, Rhymes and Wisdom (Fredrick Douglass Campus) Left to right: Maurice Glenn, Josiah Tavolino, Dontrael Parson, Isaac Roman; Reginald Houston, standing

Intriguing to say the least. Enough said. Come to Richmond’s on Friday for the full experience. Contact Brandon at

Chess Rhymes and Wisdom Music Link: chessrhymes-wisdom/sets/across-the-board-mixtape-vol-1


D & C caption, “Dave Kramer of Brighton concentrates on his next move. He lost.” (1981)

I will be rooting for the Panthers this season. But in my heart I am always a Brighton Baron.

Thanks again Brandon for contributing. We always need contributors to keep Talker thriving.


On the People’s Party with DJ Alykhan. And raising $500 for Chess, Rhymes and Wisdom

Chess across the ages at the National Strong Museum of Play