Partying at Richmond’s for CHESS, RHYMES and WISDOM

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 [email protected]

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

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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