I’ve seen several inspirational (and poignant) documentaries about young people. There’s Spellbound and First Position and Hoop Dreams and Stand and Deliver and plenty more.
But I’m really looking forward to Brooklyn Castle, playing now in select cities, about the most dominant school chess team in the United States.
The school is I.S. 318 in Brooklyn. Check out this clip (about four minutes):
And here’s an article to read if you want to know more about the chess program at I.S. 318. (An interesting tidbit is how the chess teacher, Elizabeth Spiegel, links chess with character skills, like self-control. “You do a lot of thinking about how you think, especially about how you make decisions,” she said. “You’ll hear a kid say, ‘I made this mistake because I was very emotional.’ ”)
I am hopeful that this film is as good as it seems, and it gets me thinking about what’s possible in schools. Someday, I’d like to build something, through hard work and persistence, where students can achieve at the highest levels and feel powerful and proud while doing so.