Mechanics’ Institute Youth Outreach Chess Program | Mechanics' Institute

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Mechanics’ Institute Youth Outreach Chess Program

Our Youth Outreach Program is a comprehensive initiative to grow and develop scholastic chess programs in the San Francisco area. The goal of our program is to introduce chess into schools, inspire the love and learning of the game and provide a pathway for success beyond the classroom. Our program involves a combination of providing free chess classes in public schools from low-income neighborhoods as well as fee for service after school programs. We provide structured chess classes where students not only learn and improve their chess skills, but are also taught other valuable lessons learned through chess such as sportsmanship, fair play, logical thinking and learning from mistakes.

In order to sustain continuity in learning and to allow for growth and development, we have begun to offer scholastic tournaments and additional classes on weekends. We know from experience that participating in tournaments, combined with utilizing at home resources to reinforce learning and having access to more chess classes puts students on the road to continued play and development.

Support for our Youth Outreach Program helps us to bring programs to new schools and helps provide scholarships to tournaments for students in need. Donors to our outreach program include foundations, private organizations, businesses and individuals.

We currently serve 18 schools as part of our non-profit outreach initiative, and our portfolio of programs include 27 schools with a look at expanding our reach over the next year. With a full time Youth Outreach Coordinator and a Chess Director with a great deal of experience and expertise in scholastic program development, we are very excited about the potential for this initiative to make a positive impact on the lives of children and in the community.

Mechanics' Institute is a member-supported nonprofit Library and Chess Room founded in 1854 to provide educational resources and chess play to the rapidly expanding Gold Rush city. Today the Mechanics' chess room is world-renowned and has become the oldest continuously operating chess room in the United States. Mechanics' has a prodigious record of developing young chess talent and is uniquely positioned to provide the proven educational benefits of chess to Bay Area youth.

If you would like to learn more about our program, please email We thank you for your consideration, contact us now to make a positive impact through chess.

Abel Talamantez
Chess Director, Mechanics' Institute