Best Testimony Ever from an 8-Year-Old

Susan BrennaYesterday at Hilton Elementary School in Baltimore, an ExpandED School, I met an 8-year-old boy named Sylvil. Without going into detail, let’s say Sylvil has faced some challenges in school. This year, he had a chance to join the chess club hosted by the school’s community partner, Child First Authority. With unprecedented speed he rose from beginner to intermediate to advanced level. Then Sylvil was chosen to represent his school at a statewide chess tournament. He returned to Hilton with a big win and a trophy.

“How did you feel about that?” I asked him.


“What were you thinking when you walked into school that Monday carrying the trophy?”

He looked me right in the eye. “I felt like a king walking down the hall, and all around me were the bishops and the rooks and the pawns and the knights.”

Chess Much?

Photo by JPhillipson, on Flickr

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About Susan Brenna

Susan is TASC’s Chief Communications Officer. A former journalist and education reporter for outfits including New York magazine and New York Newsday, she manages TASC publications, talks to journalists and bloggers, deals with the whole messaging business that former journalists treat somewhat suspiciously, and argues for why kids need both more learning time AND inspiring opportunities. Trenton Makes, the World Takes.