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Partnership with Wilsonville Rotary Club will help start a chess club after school

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - Meridian Creek Middle School has joined a handful of other district schools with a chess club but is hoping to grow the program with the help of volunteers.Carly Voigt wants to use chess to enrich the students of Meridian Creek Middle School's academic and personal pursuits.

Voigt, a sixth-grade learning specialist at Meridian Creek, is teaming up with the Wilsonville Rotary Club to start a chess club at the newly minted school.

"The idea really came from the district and the Rotary Club's relationship with the district. The reason I'm involved is the statistics on how many areas chess can help a student's overall abilities in academics and their day to day life," Voigt said. "It helps their focus, critical thinking, problem-solving strategies — it's just amazing how many areas it can help."

Currently, Meridian Creek has about a dozen students who meet once a week on Thursdays after school, but Voigt and the Rotary Club are looking for parents or adult volunteers in order to expand their programming to two days a week from 3:50-4:55 p.m.

"We have a few kiddos who are particularly strong and have been a part of playing chess in their community and even won awards for playing. That's really the goal, to build a strong team and be able to play not just defensively, but strategically in a way that could place some of them in statewide competitions," Voigt said. "What we need from parents is their time. The least expensive, but most valuable resource. It doesn't even have to be parents or grandparents of the kids at our school since we have a relatively small population since we're so new."

Contact Pamplin Media Group reporter Sam Stites at 503-636-1281 ext. 101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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