Toronto, Canada – On May 23, 2023, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) hosted a partner appreciation event to acknowledge the contributions of their partners. I was among the attendees: David Dewsbury, the Director of Programs at Chess Institute of Canada (CIC).
The event, held at TDSB headquarters at 5050 Yonge Street in Toronto, served as an opportunity for the TDSB to express gratitude and celebrate the powerful impact that partnerships bring to the education system. With numerous partners from various sectors present, the evening was a testament to the TDSB’s dedication to fostering relationships that enhance learning experiences for students.
The Chess Institute of Canada, a preferred partner of the TDSB, has been working hand in hand with the board. My presence at the partner appreciation event, representing CIC, highlighted our commitment to promote chess as an educational tool.
Chess Institute of Canada is known for chess programs that go beyond the game itself. By integrating life skills education into the chess curriculum, CIC has demonstrated the profound cognitive and social benefits of chess, including improved critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and emotional intelligence among students. This aligns with the TDSB’s mission as well.
Members of the TDSB administration addressed their partners. They expressed their gratitude and emphasized the importance of collaboration in creating a positive impact on the education landscape, noting that together, partners and the TDSB have been able to provide students with, “a unique lens through which students may view curriculum subjects, opening opportunities for growth and development.”
I was personally inspired by this idea, as I believe that our life skills curriculum is just such a “unique lens”. For example, by teaching problem solving skills on the chessboard, we enable students to tackle mathematics in a more abstract manner; By teaching communication skills, we brighten students’ insights into the call and response of dialogue; By teaching Cooperation, we enhance students’ ability to work in a team. Each of the life skills we use as the focus of our lessons is a unique lens through which core curriculum ideas can be learned.
As the evening progressed and the networking portion began, I spoke with several other TDSB partners. From music therapists and personal support workers to artists and sports coaches, it became clear that the TDSB’s partners were a dedicated and passionate group of education professionals. I am certain that they are an integral part of the district’s success.
In conclusion, the partner appreciation event organized by the Toronto District School Board was a resounding success. It provided a platform to celebrate the unwavering dedication and outstanding contributions of partners, including the Chess Institute of Canada. Through their collaborative efforts, the TDSB and its partners are paving the way for a brighter future for students, where innovative educational initiatives like chess education can thrive and empower the next generation.
Toronto District School Board Website: www.tdsb.on.ca