MMK Allocates RUB 8m to Chess Literacy Project

4 December 2019 (12:12)

UrBC, Magnitogorsk, December 4, 2019. Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) allocated more than RUB 8m to its Chess Literacy Project, the company's Information & PR Department reports.

'The decision to go through with the Chess Literacy Project in Chelyabinsk Region was taken in 2016 at the initiative of United Russia and with support from Governor of Chelyabinsk Region. Two years ago, chess classes were introduced in Magnitogorsk schools and kindergartens. The project gets funded by MMK, the primary benefactor. Under an agreement the company has with Magnitogorsk Council, MMK has been directing around RUB 2.7m a year to the Chess Literacy Project for the last three years. More than RUB 8m have been allocated for the purpose altogether,' MMK says.

To make sure the project can go ahead, the schools have been provided with both the tech resources and chess teachers. Chess textbooks, workbooks, training programs, chess boards and pieces, and special clocks have been purchased as well. Nearly two hundred teachers went on training courses at Continuous Professional Development Center. Mayor of Magnitogorsk Sergey Berdnikov spoke very highly of MMK's contribution to the project and thanked the plant's management and Chair of the BOD Viktor Rashnikov for supporting the town's initiative, which made the step-by-step introduction of chess at schools possible.

The project is very much alive today. Head of Education Department at Magnitogorsk Council Natalya Safonova says all the local schools and kindergartens (that is, children in the 6-10 age group) are involved. This means more than 13,500 children are learning to play chess. According to Safonova, a recent study of the students' progress revealed improvements in the children's short-term memory and sustained attention skills as well as a trend for better grades at school.

'Our efforts in the chess education field have started to bear fruit. In May 2018, Magnitogorsk schoolchildren took part in Chelyabinsk Region Chess Championship for the first time, competing with seventeen other teams and winning bronze. A year later, they won the first prize in the championship, leaving behind nineteen other teams from other towns and cities in Chelyabinsk Region,' MMK says.

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