Alabama Chess in Schools

The Alabama Chess in Schools (ACIS) initiative was Chess in School’s pilot program formulated in partnership with the Alabama State Department of Education and is the baseline model designed for multi-school and multi-school district programs. ACIS began in 2015 and concluded its fourth year in May 2019.

Created and directed by Chess in Schools, ACIS demonstrated a model of introducing chess in the classroom that can be replicated in any state-wide or local school system. The research accompanying this project along with the field-tested approach to training teachers helps to establish the value of chess as an educational tool and shows that such a program can be introduced in locations with limited access to an existing chess community.

What is ACIS?

Alabama Chess in Schools (ACIS) is an initiative to promote child development through chess in schools throughout Alabama. The mission of ACIS is to provide resources and opportunities to all students to increase the use of higher order thinking and to practice 21st Century Skills* through regular exposure to chess concepts or chess play.

What makes ACIS exceptional?

The original ACIS program was a teacher-driven initiative that aligned with statewide standards. Funded by a state grant targeting Title I schools with no prior chess programs, applicant schools competed for selection to the ACIS program and were judged based on a rubric developed in consultation with education administrators. The program included an embedded independent research program. The program’s success is documented in the research section on this page.

Most bottom-up school chess programs are one person away from extinction. The ACIS approach is designed to be both sustainable and scalable.

What do teachers say about the ACIS experience?


Jerry Nash

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