Chess Pro ScreenThe New York Times reports that a pilot program to teach second and third graders Chess in Donnelly, Idaho, will enter the curriculum throughout the entire state as of next fall.

Tom Luna, the state’s superintendent of education, said, “One of the things that we hear is that too much of what we do is based on rote memorization. The part I really like about this program is that kids are thinking ahead.”

Participation in the curriculum is voluntary, but reaction to the pilot program has been good. Teachers do not need prior experience with the game to participate.

The cost to implement the program is estimated to be “about $200,000 to $250,000 a year, although it could run as much as $600,000” if all schools join immediately.

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